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Dysart Willis

Think you cannot get busted for a DWI after one drink?

Many of age North Carolina college students like to hang out and party with their friends. They may even decide to sip on beer, a glass of wine or some other type of alcoholic beverage. There is nothing wrong with those actions as long as anyone who has been drinking does not drive. You may think you are safe because you only drank one beverage, but it is still possible for you to get a DWI charge.

If an officer pulls you over, stay calm and rational about what you say and do. You can refuse field sobriety tests, just keep in mind that you may be detained and have additional charges brought against you, such as disorderly conduct. Refusing to take field sobriety tests does not mean you are guilty; many sober people fail them even though they are not legally intoxicated. Tests are not always administered properly, and there are other factors that can cause you to fail them. It is hard to challenge the results of these tests in court. However, if you are ordered to provide a blood or urine sample, you may want to comply. Law enforcement can always get a warrant for you to submit to chemical testing, which may be more beneficial to your situation. 

Examples of how you can receive a DWI 

An officer does not have to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are drunk. He or she just needs to show probable cause to suspect you of driving drunk. For example, an officer sees you drink a beer at the bar and watches you get into a car and start driving. She or he can pull you over for the suspicion of a DWI. Another example is you drank a cocktail and an officer pulls you over for a busted headlight. While talking to you, he or she notices your breath smells like alcohol. The officer now has reason to detain you and ask you to perform field sobriety tests and take a breathalyzer. 

Alcohol affects everyone differently

You should also consider the way your body responds to alcohol; you may have a higher or lower tolerance than your friends. It may take several cocktails for your friend to get drunk and only half a margarita for you to show signs of intoxication. Your speech may not be slurred, but your decision-making skills and movements may be slower than normal. The signs of inebriation are not always immediately obvious in some people and may sneak up on you and affect you more than most. 

Even if your DWI charge is eventually dismissed because chemical testing shows your BAC to be under the legal limit, you still have a DWI arrest on your record, which will show up in a criminal background search.

This information is only intended as educational material and should not be used as legal advice.