Alcohol does not necessarily need to be involved to be charged and convicted with a DWI in North Carolina. Based on NCGS 20-138.1, “a person commits the offense of impaired driving if he drives any vehicle upon any highway, any street, or any public vehicular area within this State . . . while under the influence of an impairing substance.”
According to Shea Denning of the UNC School of Government, an impairing substance can be alcohol or a controlled substances, including illegal and legal drugs. Essentially, any drug that impairs one’s ability to drive can be considered an impairing substance.
These substances may not necessarily register on a breathalyzer, but North Carolina officers can still arrest you if they suspect that you are under the influence of an impairing substance. Instead of requiring a breath sample, the officer may request a blood sample. If you refuse to give one, the officer may apply for a warrant to take blood. In some situations, blood may even be taken without a warrant if the officer can prove exigent circumstances existed.
If you have been charged with a DWI in Wake County, contact The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel in Cary, NC, for a free consultation. Our office is conveniently located off of the Harrison Ave. exit of I-40 on Weston Parkway. We serve all areas of Wake County, including Raleigh, Cary, Apex, and Wake Forest. Call us at (919) 585-1486 for more information about how we can help you with your DWI case.