Everyone is familiar with DWIs and the .08 limit. But not everyone is familiar with the fact that when a driver is underage, they cannot have any alcohol in their body. Even the tiniest amount of alcohol will result in being charged with a crime. The mere scent of alcohol is enough to get an officer’s attention. Under the law, the scent of alcohol is typically not enough to prove that an underage driver has had a drink. A positive result on a Portable Breath Test or another type of chemical analysis is normally required to prove this case. Even a reading of .01 on a portable breath test can result in a charge for this crime. However, if you refuse to submit to a PBT or other form of proof, then the scent of alcohol will be enough to convict. In addition, you can lose your license for one year since this is an implied consent offense. With implied consent offenses, you can be required to provide blood or breath samples, or else you will lose your driving privileges.
We all know how common underage drinking is; it is well known that college campuses are hotspots for drinking. Many times the drinking is not in moderate amounts. There are several colleges in Charlotte, including the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Queens University, among others. Officers know that areas around college campuses and student housing are a great place to catch underage drinkers. Any time that you have a drink and get on the road, you are asking for trouble, especially if you are underage and you are near a college campus. Any little violation of the law is enough to get you pulled over. This includes speeding or an expired registration. After an officer stops you, he or she may smell alcohol on your breath. At this point, the officer will investigate two crimes: the first is the underage driving after consuming alcohol, and the second is a DWI. The officer may require you to submit to Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. Even if you pass them, you have to go through the embarrassment and anxiety of performing sobriety tests on the side of the road. You will be asked to provide breath samples in a Portable Breath Test. An officer may arrest you and take you to get tested by the Intoxilyzer machine in the police station. In addition to losing your license for a year, if you refuse to provide a breath sample, the officer can get a warrant to draw your blood against your will. This blood sample will be used to get an accurate picture of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This BAC is admissible against you in court, for both the DWI charge and the underage driver with alcohol charge.
The state of North Carolina considers underage drivers with alcohol in their system as a threat to public safety. This means that you should take these charges seriously. In extreme cases, a person may also be charged with DWI as well. When this happens, you know that you are facing very serious charges. We would be glad to help you with your case. If you are only charged with the underage driver with alcohol offense, and the DWI is not charged, then you have gotten off lightly. You should glad that you are not facing a much more serious charge.
Whatever you are charged with, our firm would be honored if you would choose us to represent you. Our firm is ready to help you with your case. If it is a DWI case, we are equipped to help you get back on the road, to review your case, and to give you your best options. However you choose to handle your case, we are here to help. Give us a call today to discuss your case.