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What Is the DUI Limit in North Carolina?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is illegal, but what is the DUI limit in North Carolina? Police officers who conduct arrests for DUI test the suspect’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) to determine whether they are under the influence of alcohol, and blood tests are used to confirm the presence of drugs in the suspect’s bloodstream. It is important for every driver to know how a DUI is confirmed and what to do after a DUI accident.

DUI limit in North Carolina

Rules for DUI Arrests

When a police officer suspects that a driver is operating their vehicle while intoxicated, they must establish reasonable cause to conduct a traffic stop, pull the driver over, and confirm whether they are indeed intoxicated. Drivers are legally required to comply with chemical tests for DUI, and refusal will result in automatic administrative suspension of their driver’s license along with increased penalties if they are later convicted of DUI in court.

The legal BAC limit is set at .08% because this is the point at which alcohol begins having noticeable effects on the driver’s body, awareness, and ability to handle their vehicle safely. It is important to remember that while every person is physiologically different and tolerates alcohol differently, the legal BAC limit for DUI is set in stone. If you are arrested with a BAC level over the limit, you should expect to face conviction for DUI.

Recovering From a DUI Accident

An experienced Charlotte drunk driving accident lawyer is an invaluable asset if you or a family member recently sustained injuries in an accident caused by a drunk or drugged driver. Your attorney can help gather the evidence you will need to not only prove that the defendant directly caused your accident but also inflicted the damages you are seeking with your claim. The right attorney will know how to enhance your recovery to the fullest possible amount.

Your recovery from a DUI accident begins with proving fault. It is essential to remember that the state upholds a contributory negligence rule, so if you bear any fault for causing your accident, it will negate your ability to claim compensation from a defendant. Even if your fault is slight, the contributory negligence rule will completely bar you from seeking compensation from any other liable party if you bear even a slight partial fault.

Once you establish fault, you can begin seeking compensation for your damages with an auto insurance claim. Every driver in the state is required to have personal auto insurance that meets basic coverage requirements, and this insurance will be an invaluable source of compensation after any accident. However, insurance may not fully cover all your claimable damages.

If you need to file a personal injury claim against a DUI driver, your Charlotte drunk driving accident lawyer can explain how the state’s criminal case against the defendant could impact your civil claim for damages. It is possible that you may not only be able to recover compensation for your economic losses and your pain and suffering but also punitive damages because the defendant broke the law in injuring you.


Q: What Are the BAC Limits?

A: The BAC limits in North Carolina are different for different types of drivers. For most drivers, the legal BAC limit is .08%, and any BAC over this constitutes a DUI violation. For commercial drivers, the BAC limit is .04%, and for drivers under 21 and drivers on probation for prior DUI, the BAC limit is .02%. Note that it is also possible to be convicted of DUI for drug use behind the wheel, and drug tests are performed via blood examination.

Q: What Are the Levels of DUI?

A: Most DUI offenses qualify as misdemeanors in the state, and these offenses are organized by severity on a Level system. Level 5 is the least severe DUI, and if you are arrested for DUI for the first time and did not cause any property damage or bodily harm, it is the level you are likely to face. Level 1 is the most severe, carrying the harshest possible penalties, and judges may not suspend the mandatory minimum sentence.

Q: What Are the Penalties for DUI?

A: The penalties for DUI vary on a case-by-case basis, and it is possible for a defendant to face a wide range of penalties for any Level of DUI conviction. Generally, every DUI conviction will lead to a fine, a driver’s license suspension, and possible jail time. However, the judge handling sentencing in a DUI case typically has broad discretionary power to assign penalties as they see fit based on the aggravating factors present in a case.

Q: What Are Aggravating Factors in a DUI Case?

A: Aggravating factors in a DUI case work against the defendant and make their charge more severe. These can include any factors that cause the sentencing judge to lean toward harsher sentencing, such as a record of prior DUIs, which automatically increases the penalties the defendant faces, whether the defendant complied with arresting officers and/or committed other offenses aside from DUI, and whether they caused great bodily harm or fatal injury to anyone.

Q: What Does It Cost to Hire a Charlotte Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer?

A: The cost to hire a Charlotte drunk driving accident lawyer can vary from attorney to attorney. At Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler, we make it easy to secure the legal counsel you need when you need it most with our contingency fee billing policy. Under this policy, you pay our firm a percentage of your case award as our fee, and only after we have won your case. There is no fee if we can’t obtain compensation for you.

The team at Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler can provide comprehensive and compassionate legal counsel when you need it after a DUI accident. If you are struggling with the effects of such an accident and need legal counsel, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte drunk driving accident lawyer and learn more about the legal services we can provide for your recovery.