Driving After Consuming Under 21

DWI Wiley Nickel

You may have heard of Driving While Impaired (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI), but what exactly is Driving After Consuming (DAC)? In North Carolina, Driving After Consuming is a serious offense, completely separate from the commonly known DWI. In fact, if you are under 21 years old, depending on the specific facts of the case, you may even be charged with driving while consuming and driving while impaired.


Under N.C.G.S. § 20-138.3, it is against the law for anyone under the age of 21 to drive a motor vehicle on a public street, highway or vehicular area after consuming any amount of alcohol or controlled substance in North Carolina. Since driving while consuming applies to minors under 21 years of age, special rules apply. For example, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) standard of .08 is irrelevant. A minor that has a BAC of even .01 could face a Driving After Consuming charge. A minor with a BAC of .08 or higher may also be charged with a DWI if the officer finds other signs of impairment.


A conviction for underage Driving After Consuming can lead to punishments similar to a DWI conviction such as substantial fines, probation and/or jail time. As a minor, not only can a conviction affect your ability to have a drivers license, but also your education, career and future. Driving After Consuming under the age of 21 is a Class 2 misdemeanor that can result in up to 60 days in jail and your drivers license revoked for up to one year. A driving while consuming charge may also lead to long-term consequences on automobile insurance rates.


In Wake County, some judges may offer an opportunity to “earn” a Prayer for Judgment Continued (PJC) following a Driving After Consuming after completing community service and/or substance abuse treatment. Once a PJC is granted, there will be no fine, probation or jail time and no license suspension. In order to gain the most favorable result possible in your case, its imperative that you have an experience attorney on your side.


If you have any questions about driving while consuming, or you or your child has recently been charged with this offense, contact the Law Offices of Wiley Nickel. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel have experience representing clients with DAC and DWI charges and will work diligently to get the best possible outcome for you. You may contact the offices at 919-585-1486 or email the attorneys directly at Kristi@wileynickel.com or Wiley@wileynickel.com.



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.