Most are familiar with the breathalyzer test given by law enforcement agents, but in recent years various blood alcohol tests have been made for the general public. There are many different products that are now available which claim to inform you of your current level of intoxication. It is important to learn about the potential implications of using one of these devices and how a DWI is determined under North Carolina Law.
The various personal BAC monitoring devices now include products that range from testing strips to a Smartphone application. Consumers also have the option to purchase a breathalyzer machine designed to be comparable to one used by law enforcement. The question is, are these devices reliable and what other factors beyond a BAC test are used in DWI charges in North Carolina?
According to a recent study done by The Wirecutter, at home BAC tests are not a reliable way to avoid a DWI. Purchasing an expensive device that is most comparable to one used by law enforcement still does not give you a totally accurate level of alcohol present in your system. Many factors including age, sex, and the period of time in which the alcohol was consumed can cause your BAC to vary.
North Carolina requires you to take a blood or breath test if you are arrested for a DWI. This” implied consent” means that if an officer feels that you are under the influence you can be subjected to testing. If you refuse to take the test under NC General Statutes 20.16.2 the result can be a one year license suspension by the DMV for a first offender. Most Raleigh DWI lawyers will advise people not to blow into a breathalyzer machine when requested by law enforcement if you’ve been drinking. Often times people will feel that they are not impaired and will provide a breath sample, only to be shocked that it came back above a 0.08 and find themselves charged with a DWI.
In addition to the breathalyzer test, law enforcement will also use other means to determine whether or not you are driving while impaired. If the officer feels there is suspicion that you are driving while under the influence he will evaluate multiple factors, such as your quality of driving, physical appearance, and demeanor. Field sobriety tests are usually also administered, although you have the right to refuse those as well. Again, most DWI attorneys would advise to politely decline field sobriety tests, as this prevents the officer from gathering additional information that can be used against you at trial.
If you have been relying on a personal BAC tester and have possibly been charged with a DWI, it is imperative you find a lawyer that knows the DWI laws and testing procedures. As mentioned, there are faults with the personal BAC testing and an experienced DWI lawyer can also help you fight tests you received by law enforcement. In some cases evidence collected from your arrest can be argued by your attorney and your case can be won or dismissed.
Raleigh DWI Lawyer Damon Chetson is very experienced in dealing with DWI cases in Wake County and throughout North Carolina. The Chetson Firm seeks to thoroughly investigate all procedures and evidence from your DWI arrest in order to successfully argue your case.