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Drunk driving in North Carolina: a strong state response

One thing is virtually certain regarding a drunk driving arrest in North Carolina, namely this: The motorist stopped who must subsequently deal with law enforcement procedures and the state's judicial system is likely to never forget the experience.

By any measuring yardstick, interaction with state authorities pursuant to a drunk driving arrest is stressful.

It can also be marked by lasting -- and, for many motorists, prohibitively expensive -- consequences.

As noted by a North Carolina DMV-focused website, the penalties associated with DWI in the state are wide-ranging and onerous. They centrally include these possibilities:

  • Jail time, which can be mandatory for some offenses deemed aggravated
  • Mandatory enrollment in a drug treatment program
  • Required participation in community service activities
  • Myriad costs and fines that can collectively amount to thousands of dollars

And that is far from all. Like a majority of American states, North Carolina has an implied consent law pursuant to which motorists agree to blood-alcohol testing as a condition for obtaining their licenses. Refusing to consent during a DWI stop based on probable cause can result in loss of a driver's license for up to a year.

The above-cited website underscores the need for any state motorist arrested for DWI to secure the prompt assistance of a proven drunk driving defense attorney.

The reasons for that are many. A drunk driving arrest will result in a court appearance, making it imperative to have knowledgeable legal counsel on hand. Additionally, and given the variability in penalties that can come into play in a given case, close and studied input from a seasoned DWI attorney can help ensure that a court outcome best promotes the interests of a defendant.

Typically, that means avoidance of any incarceration period, when possible, and alternative penalties that are cost-efficient, minimally disruptive to a client and help ensure that driving privileges are retained.

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