Despite increased efforts from law enforcement to crack down on impaired driving, drunk driving remains a prevalent issue in the state of North Carolina. According to statistics collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the North Carolina Department of Justice, approximately 1,500,000 drivers were arrested for DWI in the United States in 2015, with around 50,000 of these arrests occurring in North Carolina. These numbers indicate a staggering 50 percent increase over 2014’s statewide DWI arrest numbers. It is estimated that just over 10,000 people are killed in car accidents involving drunk drivers every year.
What Are the Penalties for DWI in North Carolina?
Driving while impaired (DWI) by alcohol or drugs is a serious offense that can take away a person’s freedom, drain their bank account, and forever tarnish their reputation. Drivers who choose to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more can be charged with DWI and face jail time, license suspension, community service, and steep increases to car insurance rates. In some scenarios, drivers may be forced to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle.
Penalties vary depending on the certain “level” of DWI charged, which ranges one through five, with five being the least serious. These levels are determined by a judge in consideration of mitigating factors such as a person’s level of intoxication at the time of their arrest, the presence of prior offenses, and any other aggravating factors. While a level five DWI can bring fines up to $200 and 60 days in jail, an aggravated level one DWI can bring up to three years in jail and $10,000 in fines.
How Can an Attorney Help?
If you have been charged with DWI, a criminal defense attorney can defend your rights in court and minimize your chances of serving these harsh penalties. A skilled defense team can not only fight to help you keep your right to drive, but they can also advocate for a reduction or dismissal of your charges on your behalf. Through an examination of the circumstances surrounding your arrest, a lawyer can challenge your arresting officer’s testimony and dispute credibility of the evidence against you.
Experienced DWI Lawyer in Beaufort
The knowledgeable Beaufort DWI attorneys at Crowe & Godwin have more than 40 years of dedicated legal knowledge and have defended thousands of clients against their drunk driving charges. If you have been arrested for DWI, our highly-skilled attorneys can provide the results-driven defense you need during this difficult time.
To find out more about what our award-winning legal team can do for you, request a free consultation today by calling our office at (252) 499-0661.