Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can have serious consequences, including potential criminal charges. North Carolina drivers in such circumstances are typically charged with Driving While Intoxicated/Impaired (DWI). Depending on the state where the offense occurs, DWI and DUI can mean slightly different things and could therefore require different criminal defense strategies. In North Carolina, however, the terms are often used interchangeably though formal charges are brought as DWIs.
Generally speaking, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content above .08%. The severity of the charges one might face if accused of doing so can vary depending on the alleged level of intoxication and whether it is the person’s first charged offense. As such, it is important to know the specifics of the charge being pursued in order to prepare a defense, as well as the associated penalties should a conviction result.
One of the details to pay attention to is whether the charge is classified as a straight DWI or another charge altogether. Other charges could include aggravated DWI, wherein the blood alcohol content is said to be particularly high. Those driving under the influence of drugs, rather than alcohol, could also face distinct charges.
A DUI and DWI can differ depending on the laws of the state where the offense allegedly occurred.in their definitions, one of the complex things about this question is that that difference can vary by jurisdiction. The charge itself is also only one of the factors that are in play when responding to an arrest of this nature. North Carolina individuals facing such charges can get clarity on this and other issues by speaking with a criminal defense lawyer.