When it comes to drunk driving, North Carolina is a zero tolerance state in multiple ways. In our state, zero tolerance drunk driving laws apply to the following three categories of drivers: commercial vehicle drivers, school bus drivers and motorists under the age of 21.
Here’s what “zero tolerance” means for each of these categories:
Commercial vehicle driver zero tolerance laws
People who operate commercial vehicles are prohibited from drinking and driving. If a police officer finds a commercial vehicle driver with any quantity of alcohol in his or her system, the driver will receive an immediate 10-day suspension from commercial driving. If it’s a second or later offense, the driver will not be able to operate any kind of vehicle.
School bus drivers and child care vehicle drivers
Drivers who operate school buses or vehicles that carry children for child care purposes cannot drink any quantity of alcohol. These individuals will be subject to immediate arrest if police discover them behind the wheel after drinking.
Drivers under the age of 21
If police detect someone under the drinking age has been operating a vehicle after consuming drugs or alcohol, the individual will suffer an immediate, pretrial license revocation for 30 days. Also, only the smell of alcohol on an underage driver’s breath could result in a DWI conviction. Those who are convicted will lose their licenses for at least one year, but drivers who are 18 years of age or older may be able to get partial driving privileges reinstated.
If you’ve been accused of a zero tolerance intoxicated driving charge, you could suffer stiff consequences in the event of conviction. It’s therefore important to respond to your charges and take swift legal action as quickly as possible.