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Can you get a DWI in something other than a car?

When most North Carolinians hear about DWI stories, they hear about people driving regular cars. One recent example occurred in Wilmington where a drunk driver hit and killed a bicyclist. While the risk of injury or death is lower when a person is on a bike or golf cart, she or he can still get a DWI when on these vehicles. 

After a night of drinking, some people may think they are better off riding a bike home. However, it is in everyone's best interest to avoid operating a mode of transportation of any kind when you feel intoxicated. 


North Carolina, as well as other states, have laws against riding a bike while intoxicated. The penalties can be just as serious if your blood alcohol content exceeds 0.08. You can still face fines, community service and jail time, so you need to avoid hopping on a bike after a night at a bar. 


You can take your boat around many places in North Carolina. While it seems relaxing to have a few beers while on a lake, you need to remain sober the entire time. Any time you use water skis, yachts or sailboats, you need to avoid alcohol. Many people have crashed into other vessels because they suffered from poor judgment and blurry vision. 

Golf carts

Many get around Bald Head Island on golf carts. This is also illegal because golf carts have motors. They can reach fairly high speeds, and you can cause a lot of property damage if you drive around intoxicated on one. 


Mopeds can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. Although you do not need a driver's license to operate one, the police will pull you over if they suspect you had alcohol earlier. 

Do not fret. There are some vehicles, such as wheelchairs and horses, exempt from North Carolina's DWI laws.


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  • Client was charged in federal court with the felony offense of being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm. After negotiation with the US Attorney's Office, the felony gun charge was dismissed and our client...

  • Our client was charged with statutory rape and faced mandatory registration as a sex offender if convicted. We were able to work with a forensic expert and the district attorney's office to negotiate a guilty plea..

  • Client charged with Felony Assault on a Police Officer, misdemeanor assault, and resisting an officer. After a jury trial where multiple police officers testified about the incident, our client was found not guilty ..

  • Client investigated by federal law enforcement for possessing child pornography. Ryan began representing the client during the investigation and ultimately the client was not charged with any crimes...

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Super Lawyers Board Certified Specialist | North Carolina State Bar | Federal / State Criminal Law
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