The law considers North Carolina drivers over 21 years of age with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or above, legally drunk. Statutes for commercial drivers are somewhat more stringent, at 0.04%. For a conviction, officers must test BAC and prove the person behind the wheel is driving while intoxicated. We often mount a strong defense for clients facing drunk driving charges.
BACtrack reports that breath test devices are popular with law enforcement due to portability and ease of use. Although North Carolina officers commonly use these devices during DWI checkpoints and during traffic stops, they must follow specific rules that protect your rights.
Breath test accuracy
Although portable devices can provide reasonably accurate results, they are not the most precise way for testing BAC. A variety of circumstances can indicate you are more intoxicated than you are, such as the following:
- You vomited within 20 minutes before the test
- You used breath fresheners or mouthwash that contains alcohol
- You too medication that skews the test results
If the unit used for your BAC test malfunctioned or was not calibrated correctly, it may provide inaccurate results.
BAC test options
While administering blood tests is more challenging than breath tests, these results are typically more accurate. An officer may run a blood test if he or she suspects drugs, rather than alcohol use. According to implied consent laws, the officer can arrest you if you refuse a blood-alcohol test.
Law enforcement may also request a urine sample, validating the breath test results. Experienced DWI attorneys can help clients maintain their reputation and protect their future.