Driving while impaired is a serious issue that poses a danger to both the person operating the vehicle and other people on the road. In North Carolina, the consequences for driving under the influence (DUI) can be severe, including fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record. More importantly, driving while impaired can lead to accidents that can cause serious injury or death. In this article, we will discuss the dangers and consequences of driving while impaired in North Carolina, and why it is essential to avoid doing so at all costs.
First and foremost, driving while impaired poses a significant threat to the safety of everyone on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), alcohol-impaired driving was a factor in 29% of all traffic fatalities in 2019. Impaired driving can slow reaction time, impair judgment, and make it difficult for a person to focus on the road, all of which increase the risk of accidents. Additionally, the use of drugs or medication can also affect a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. Even a small amount of alcohol or drugs can make a person drowsy, confused or disoriented, which can lead to dangerous driving behavior.
In North Carolina, the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08% for individuals 21 and over, and 0.04% for commercial drivers. It is also illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, including prescription medication. If an individual is caught driving with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit, they can be arrested and charged with DWI. In North Carolina, the penalties for DWI can be severe, including fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record. First-time offenders may face up to 24 hours in jail, up to $200 in fines, and a license revocation of one year. Repeat offenders can face up to two years in jail and fines of up to $4,000. Additionally, if someone is injured or killed as a result of impaired driving, the driver can be charged with a more serious crime, such as vehicular homicide.
Driving while impaired can also have long-lasting consequences on a person’s personal and professional life. A DWI conviction can make it difficult to get a job, rent an apartment, or obtain certain professional licenses. Many employers conduct background checks and may be hesitant to hire someone with a criminal record. Furthermore, a DWI conviction can lead to increased car insurance rates, making it more expensive to own a vehicle.
Another aspect of impaired driving is the fact that it is illegal and can lead to criminal charges, fines, and possible jail time, but it also carries some of the most severe and long-lasting personal and societal costs. When people choose to drink and drive, they are not only putting themselves at risk, but also the lives of innocent people around them. The trauma caused by a crash can result in lost wages, hospital expenses, and lifelong medical treatment, as well as emotional and psychological consequences. Furthermore, it can cause permanent injuries or even death, which can have a significant impact on the loved ones left behind.
It is essential to avoid driving while impaired at all costs and make the responsible choice to find an alternative way home such as a designated driver, public transportation, or ride-sharing services. Remember to always put safety first, and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. At Kellum Law Firm our focus is on helping the victims of DWI drivers – those who have been injured due to the negligence of others on the road. If you’re the victim of a DWI driver and need legal help, contact our DWI Attorneys today.