The legal blood alcohol limit for drivers in North Carolina is .08 percent. However, people may be impaired regardless of what their blood alcohol level is. In some cases, they may be too drunk to drive even if they aren’t showing any obvious signs of impairment. This is because it can take up to two hours for alcohol to be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Drivers who are impaired may have a slower reaction time compared to those who are sober. They may also lack the coordination to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner. Depending on how intoxicated people are, they won’t have the coordination necessary to stand or walk properly. Other side effects of alcohol consumption include decreased vision or a lack of depth perception.
A lack of depth perception can make it harder to determine how close a driver’s vehicle is to others on the road. It can also make it difficult to see an object that is off to the side. Those who are drunk will also struggle to concentrate while driving a car. This could result in not being able to stay in a single lane or an inability to obey traffic lights or other traffic control signals.
Those who are convicted of drunk driving could face significant penalties whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony. Penalties may include incareceration, a fine and a loss of driving privileges. If a person causes an accident while impaired, those penalties may be enhanced. An attorney may be able to create a defense to a drunk driving charge, in some cases by challenging the constitutionality of the traffic stop itself.