Driving While Impaired, or DWI/DUI, is one of the most serious traffic offenses in North Carolina. It is illegal to drive on a street, highway, or “public vehicular area” if your blood alcohol content, or BAC, is .08 or more. However, if your BAC is less than .08, you can still be convicted of DWI if you were under the influence of alcohol or another impairing substance, such as marijuana or cocaine.

The punishment for DWI depends on the circumstances of your case and your driving record. There are six levels of DWI sentencing. Level 5 is the least serious, and carries a minimum sentence of 24 hours in jail or 24 hours of community service. The maximum sentence for level 5 is sixty days in jail. A person who blew a .09, had no prior DWIs and had a good driving record would probably be sentenced as a level 5 DWI. Level A1 is the most serious, and the punishment is 120 days to three years in prison. A person whose license was revoked for a DUI conviction 2 years ago and who was driving with a small child in the carĀ  would be sentenced as a level A1 DWI. Regardless of your sentencing level, you’ll lose your license for at least a year, and you could also be fined and/or placed on probation.

When you are arrested for DWI, your license is automatically revoked for 30 days. After 10 days, you may be eligible for a pre-trial limited driving privilege. The attorneys at Meier Law Group can assist you in obtaining a pre-trial and/or post-conviction limited driving privilege if you qualify. This privilege allows you to drive to work, to school, to any community service or alcohol classes, and for the maintenance of your household.

How Meier Law Group Can Help

There are several possible strategies in defending a DWI case. For example, in order for the DWI charge to be valid, the traffic stop must have been lawful. For the most part, this means that the officer must have had reasonable articulable suspicion that you were breaking the law, or you were stopped at a legal checkpoint.

For a DWI charge to be valid, the arrest must have been legal as well, meaning that it was supported by probable cause that the arrested individual was driving while impaired. Commonly officers will ask drivers they suspect of DWI to blow into an alcosensor to determine their BAC or to perform field sobriety tests. You can refuse to blow or to perform the tests, but your refusal can be used against you in court.

Daniel Meier and Jonathan Seiglie, the attorneys at Meier Law Group, will advocate for you and protect your rights. They will analyze your case and explain it to you. If it is the best option, they will take the case to trial, and if you are found guilty, they will advise you on how to minimize your sentence.