Everyone’s driving is impaired at a blood alcohol concentration, or BAC, of 0.08 percent, but many people are affected at much lower levels. Research shows that the risk of being involved in a crash increases when the alcohol level is 0.05 percent, and at 0.08 percent the risk of causing a fatal crash is even greater.
Driving While Impaired
In 1983, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the Safe Roads Act. This act repealed all previous laws on drunk driving in North Carolina and replaced them with a single offense of “Driving While Impaired–DWI.” If an officer charges you with driving while impaired, you will be asked to take a chemical test of your breath or blood. Refusal to perform any required test will result in the immediate revocation of your driver license for at least 30 days and an additional, minimum 12-month revocation by the DMV. In certain instances, after six months of the willful refusal revocation has elapsed, the judge may issue a limited driving privilege. If your intoxication test shows a BAC of 0.08 percent or more (0.04 or more, if you are driving a commercial motor vehicle), your driving privilege will be revoked immediately for a minimum of 30 days. Additionally, the results of your chemical test or the fact that you refused to take the test will be
admissible as evidence in court.
Driving while impaired can be proven in one of two ways:
• By proving the driver’s physical or mental fitness are appreciably impaired by alcohol, drugs or a combination of both; or
• By proving the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or more.