DWI Laws in North Carolina

Understanding North Carolina DWI Law

Under the North Carolina code, a DWI is detailed in § 20138.1, under the heading of Impaired Driving. In order to prove that you committed a DWI, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you:

You can find the details of DWI law in North Carolina code § 20138.1 under Impaired Driving. The government has to prove four essential factors, beyond reasonable doubt, to convict you for a DWI. They have to prove that:

  1. You drove a vehicle in a public area AND
  2. You drove while under the influence of an impairing substance OR
  3. You drove after consuming enough alcohol for a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08+ OR
  4. You drove with any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance in your system.

Each of these elements must be proven by the State beyond reasonable doubt.

The first element means that the government must prove that you were driving the vehicle. If the vehicle is parked, then they may not be able to prove this. The judge or jury may be able to infer that you were driving, based on the circumstances, but it must be proven that you drove in a public area.

The next three elements mean that the government must prove that there was impairment by alcohol or another drug. They must do this through one or more of the available methods (field sobriety tests, chemical analysis of breath or blood, and observations). There is no single element alone that can be used to prove that a conviction is deserved. Rather, each of these factors can be challenged by a North Carolina DWI defense attorney with the experience to effectively defend your case. No two cases are identical, and it is in your best interests to contact an Asheville DWI attorney for a free consultation and evaluation of the unique elements of your own case.