Legal BAC Limit

Hi, I’m attorney Derek gray of Graystar legal. We are a criminal law firm in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and this is our FAQ series. Today’s question is going to deal with DWIs. Specifically, what is the BAC limit in North Carolina? BAC stands for breath alcohol concentration or blood alcohol concentration. So specifically, let’s always start with the law. The DWI statute is going to be North Carolina General Statute 20-130 8.1.

The Two Way To Get A DWI In North Carolina

Now, there are two ways to get a DWI in North Carolina.

  1. You have what’s called the “per se impairment theory,” which deals with that BAC limit, which in North Carolina is a .08. Okay, if you are a .08 Or you have a .08 alcohol within your body at the time of driving, you can be found guilty of a DWI. However, this is not the only way to be found guilty of a DWI in North Carolina.
  2. The other way is what’s called “appreciable impairment.” Okay, appreciable impairment really just means noticeable impairment. Is it something where the officer can note and like noticeably observe and articulate your behavior, your ability or lack thereof to control your mental or physical faculties, or both, as it relates to driving? And so that is important because it’s not just the per se impairment theory that you have to worry about. Per se impairment theory for the .08 only deals with alcohol. But in situations where individuals have been taking pills or smoking weed, have drugs, or have a combination of alcohol and drugs in their system, the appreciable impairment theory will typically be used.

And that’s why things such as your field sobriety tests become much more important because that’s evidence that your mental or physical faculties or both have been impaired. So to answer the question, the BAC limit in North Carolina is .08. However, that’s not the only way you can be found guilty of a DWI. The appreciable impairment theory will account for things such as drug impairment or a combination of both. So, guys, I hope that answers your question.

Winston-Salem Criminal Attorney With Experience With DWI Charges

If you have any other questions about DWIs or a DWI yourself, you need someone to help guide you through that process. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my law firm. The team at McMinn, Logan & Gray would love to help.

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Author Bio

Derek M. Gray

Derek Gray is a Partner of McMinn, Logan & Gray, a North Carolina criminal defense law firm. With more than 15 years of experience in criminal defense, he has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including DUIs, misdemeanors, felonies, domestic violence, and other criminal charges.

Derek received his Juris Doctor from the North Carolina Central School of Law in 2007 and is a member of the North Carolina State Bar Association. With his experience as a former Assistant District Attorney, he has represented more than 1,000 criminal defense clients in North Carolina and received more than 100 5-star Google ratings.

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