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.