- posted: Apr. 23, 2017
In North Carolina, Driving While Impaired (DWI) and Drinking Under the Influence (DUI) are used interchangeably and carry some of the harshest penalties in the country. Which is why you’ll need attorneys in Salisbury, NC if you ever get caught by the police drunk driving or under the influence of some other impairing substance. As an example of such a case, WXII12 recently reported the arrest of an off-duty bus driver for DWI:
Local media outlets report that police arrested 63-year-old Donnie Lee Ballentine of Garner on Saturday afternoon.
Authorities say Ballentine admitted he hit an oncoming car while turning into a driveway, then parked his car and went inside a house. That’s where police found him.
Police say Ballentine’s alcohol breath test was 0.16, twice the legal driving limit in North Carolina.
With such evidence piled against the defendant, the need for knowledgeable Salisbury lawyers is more urgent and necessary than ever. Legal representation can help reduce the penalties with your lawyer negotiating with the prosecutor through mitigating circumstances that might even have your case be dismissed.
A DWI case can be made against you in one of two ways. The first way is for a prosecutor to prove that your physical and mental faculties were impaired by a substance that you had taken—most commonly, alcohol or drugs. In North Carolina, as long as you are proven to be physically or mentally impaired, whether through alcohol or other identified substance, a case can be made against you. The second way is for a prosecutor to prove that your breath alcohol concentration is higher than 0.08. Even if you’re sober, but the BAC test indicates you’re past the limit, you can still be convicted.
Though these circumstances may seem unassailable, skilled lawyers can use several tactics in your defense. For example, your arrest wouldn’t be legal if the arresting officer had no basis to stop you. Weaving inside the traffic lane isn’t enough to presume you ought to be stopped. If an arrest was made, your arrest might be even deemed unlawful and your case may be dismissed. Another tactic would be for your lawyer to question the BAC and field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests follow certain clear guidelines and if one step has not been followed, the tests can be kept out of the evidence. Additionally, some types of breathalyzer readings are known to be inaccurate. This is why two samples are required and that the results should be within 0.02 of each other, or the case will be dismissed.
North Carolina’s harsh DWI laws mean that any person convicted of DWI should expect a possible jail sentence, heavy fines, and a criminal record. Avoid this fate by hiring a DWI lawyer to help you in your case.
(Source: NC school bus driver charged with off-duty DWI, WXII12, November 18, 2014)