Raleigh, NC DWI Attorney: Arrest Information

Can I be charged with a DWI if I wasn’t drinking alcohol?

Yes, you can. In North Carolina, a person need not have actually been drinking alcohol to be charged with a driving while impaired offense. Under N.C.G.S. 20-138.1, a person can be arrested for impaired driving if he or she is under the influence of an impairing substance like marijuana or prescription drugs.

But I didn’t blow a .08?

It is not necessary to blow a .08 to be arrested and charged with a DWI. If the officer believes you are appreciably impaired, meaning that the officer believes you are under the influence of some substance and should not be driving, you can be still be arrested. Keep in mind that impairing substances include legal and illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycontin, valium, antihistimines, hydrocodone and sleeping pills. Therefore, although a breathalyzer may not register anything, you can still be considered impaired if you took illegal drugs or over-the-counter drugs.

Can I be charged with a DWI if I was under the influence of a prescribed drug?

Yes, you can be charged with a DWI in North Carolina if you are under the influence of a legally prescribed drug. Although some courts will take your legal prescription into consideration, you can still be found guilty of driving while impaired if you are under the influence of your prescription medication. Make sure you follow all of your doctor’s directions and only drive if the doctor says it’s safe to while take the prescription.

If you are arrested and charged with a DWI in Wake County, North Carolina, call our office at 919-585-1486 for a free consultation.  Our office is located in Cary and we handle Wake County DWI Cases.


Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.