Can you be charged with DWI if you don’t appear to be drunk?

Sometimes, people knowingly and intentionally get behind the wheel after having too much to drink They figure that they can make it home safely, even if they stumble due to drunkenness on their way to the car.

However, not everyone accused of driving while impaired (DWI) actually felt like they had too much to drink. They may not have any visible symptoms of chemical impairment.

Police officers can use a combination of sobriety tests, driver performance at the wheel and chemical testing to establish that someone broke the law by driving after consuming alcohol. Can the state charge you with DWI if you showed no noticeable impairment?

North Carolina has a per se limit for alcohol in your body

Drivers pulled over for demonstrating very dangerous driving habits and those who cause crashes may have a hard time fighting back against a DWI charge. However, some people get arrested and charged when the alcohol hadn’t had any noticeable impact on their driving skills.

Under North Carolina law, actual impairment is not necessary for a DWI arrest or conviction. Instead, someone only needs to exceed the legal limit for blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) under the per se limit. If a test shows a BAC of 0.08% or higher, the state could change and convict a driver even if they didn’t drive poorly or cause a crash.

Exceeding the BAC limit is a crime in and of itself even if the police can’t show that it affected your driving. The more you understand about DWI charges, the better position you will be in to fight them.