Do you have a North Carolina driver’s license, or do you drive on the public roads of North Carolina? If so, you have given your consent to a chemical analysis of your breath or blood if you are charged with DWI, even if you had no idea you were agreeing to a chemical analysis. North Carolina General Statute §20-16.2(a) states:
“Any person who drives a vehicle on a highway or public vehicular area thereby gives consent to a chemical analysis if charged with an implied-consent offense. Any law enforcement officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that the person charged has committed the implied-consent offense may obtain a chemical analysis of the person.”
You give your consent in exchange for the privilege to drive in North Carolina. If you have a North Carolina driver’s license, it is “implied” you will submit to a chemical analysis of your blood even if you had no clue you were giving the state this much power when you applied for and obtained a NC driver’s license. Just by choosing to drive in North Carolina, you agree to have your constitutional rights eroded.
Opponents of this law claim it is simply a way of “bullying” a driver into providing a sample for chemical analysis. Regardless of how you may feel about this law, you need to understand it because you could find yourself sitting in the police state receiving the following notice from a chemical analyst or law enforcement officer.
What Statements Are Included in the NC Implied Consent Notice?
Before a chemical analysis of your blood is performed, you must be given the following information orally and in writing pursuant to N.C.G.S. §20-16.2. If you do not receive the following notice orally and in writing prior to the test, the results of the chemical test or your refusal to take the test may not be allowed in court.
- “You have been charged with an implied-consent offense. Under the implied-consent law, you can refuse any test, but your drivers license will be revoked for one year and could be revoked for a longer period of time under certain circumstances, and an officer can compel you to be tested under other laws.”
- “The test results, or the fact of your refusal, will be admissible in evidence at trial.”
- “Your driving privilege will be revoked immediately for at least 30 days if you refuse any test or the test result is 0.08 or more, 0.04 or more if you were driving a commercial vehicle, or 0.01 or more if you are under the age of 21.”
- “After you are released, you may seek your own test in addition to this test.”
- “You may call an attorney for advice and select a witness to view the testing procedures remaining after the witness arrives, but the testing may not be delayed for these purposes longer than 30 minutes from the time you are notified of these rights. You must take the test at the end of 30 minutes even if you have not contacted an attorney or your witness has not arrived.”
Utilize Your Right To Have A Witness Present
It is advised that you exercise your right to call a DWI lawyer and to have a witness present for the test. This benefits you in several ways. First, it delays the test for 30 minutes. During this time, your BAC level could fall below the legal limit. Furthermore, having a DWI lawyer to advise you of your rights before you submit to the chemical test is always in your best interest.
Having a witness present gives you an independent party to testify about your demeanor, whether you smelled of alcohol, how the analyst or police officer took the sample, and whether the machine seemed to be working properly. It is important to have someone on your side witness the test because everyone else in the room works for the state or local government entity.
Consequences For Refusing A Chemical Analysis Under NC’s Implied Consent Law
If you refuse a chemical test after being arrested for driving while impaired, your driver’s license will be confiscated immediately. You would lose your driving privileges for up to one year (even if you are ultimately not convicted of DWI). This can be devastating for your daily life. How will you get to and from work? Who will take your child to school and other activities? Before making the decision whether to refuse a chemical test, consult with a DWI lawyer to discuss your rights and the potential consequences of your decision.
Contact an Experienced Jacksonville DWI Lawyer
“Attorneys Who Aggressively Protect Your Rights”
The DWI lawyer of Welch and Avery understands the laws regarding implied consent in North Carolina. If your rights were violated, our DWI lawyer will fight to overturn a license suspension. We represent clients throughout Duplin County, Onslow County, and the surrounding communities. Call our office at (910) 665-9134 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.
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