For many drivers, a DUI arrest may be their first criminal charge. In addition to having your license suspended, a DUI conviction can have many repercussions that affect your daily life. If you have been charged with a DUI or DWI in Lincolnton, you need a highly-qualified legal professional in your corner to protect your rights and defend against the charges you face. The experienced DWI attorneys at King Law are committed to taking a personalized approach to every case so their clients can get the representation they need for their unique situations.
What Is Driving While Impaired in North Carolina?
While many refer to the charge as driving under the influence (DUI), the legal term was updated to driving while impaired (DWI). This change reflects that people charged with a DWI do not necessarily need to be drunk but may be impaired by any substance. An individual may be convicted of a DWI if the prosecutor can prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You operated a vehicle on a North Carolina roadway while under the influence of an impairing substance such as illegal substances, prescription drugs, or alcohol
- You had a BAC of 0.08% after any relevant time after operating the vehicle
- Any amount of Schedule One substances in your bloodstream, such as heroin or morphine
It is important to note that while a BAC over the legal limit is one common factor of a DWI, an individual may face conviction if they did not drink before getting behind the wheel.
Factors that May Affect your BAC
To avoid going over the legal limit, many individuals count the drinks they have consumed to estimate their BAC level. However, it is essential to understand the significant variables that may impact your BAC. Some factors that may affect your BAC levels include:
- Your Weight: Due to the way alcohol is processed in the body, a person with a lower body weight may have a higher BAC than a heavier person that has consumed the same number of drinks.
- The Types of Drinks You Imbibe: Carbonated drinks like sparkling wine or champagne can increase the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream, while drinks with fruit juice may slow the rate of absorption.
- The Amount of Food in Your Stomach: Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach can result in a higher BAC because food can help slow down the rate of alcohol absorption.
- Your Medications: Many prescription medications can intensify your body’s reaction to alcohol. When mixing alcohol with certain medications, your BAC may rise to a higher level than it normally would.
Double-checking your medication and ensuring that you eat before drinking can help you manage and limit the effects alcohol has on your body and mind. However, these methods work differently for everyone. The safest way to prevent a DWI is to make arrangements not to drive after consuming alcohol.
Penalties for Driving While Impaired in North Carolina
Driving while impaired is taken seriously in North Carolina, and convictions carry severe penalties. Some penalties you may face for a DWI conviction include:
- Prison time
- Heavy fines
- Driver’s license suspension
- A mandatory ignition lock device
The penalties for a DWI may increase significantly if you have prior convictions or there were one or more aggravating factors present in your case. Causing an accident or driving with a minor in the vehicle are considered aggravating factors and may result in harsher penalties. Since the stakes are so high, do not hesitate to contact a trusted DUI/DWI attorney. Your attorney will conduct a full investigation into your case and help you determine the best course of action moving forward.
Contact a Highly-Qualified DWI Defense Attorney at King Law
If you have been arrested for a DWI in Lincolnton, you do not have to let one mistake ruin your life. The skilled legal team at King Law is committed to protecting the rights of the accused. Our attorneys will advocate for you in court, help you retain your driving privilege, and protect your reputation with your friends and neighbors. When you partner with us, you can rest assured that your case is in the capable hands of a caring and skilled legal professional. To learn more about how our experienced attorneys can help you, give us a call at (888) 748-5464 (KING) or complete our contact form today.