Behind The Numbers: DWI Statistics In North Carolina

Police officer in jacket outside

In North Carolina and especially Durham, N.C. DWI statistics have been steady over the past few years. Currently, there are almost 50,000 DWI tickets written in NC every single year. When you put that into perspective seeing as North Carolina has just under 10 Million people, this means around one in every 200 people will receive a DWI ticket this year in North Carolina. Make no mistake that is an incredibly high ratio and one that you should be aware of.


Is A DWI  Only Alcohol Related?

No! In North Carolina there is no distinction between DWI and DUI and the state only uses DWI legally. This means that ALL driving while impaired or under the influence cases are tried the exact same way. If you are caught under the influence of illegal drugs, prescription or otherwise you will be charged with a DWI and follow the same legal proceedings as someone who was drunk. There are currently field sobriety tests that are used to determine if a driver is “high” on a substance other than alcohol. A full breakdown on the steps of a DWI and descriptions of field sobriety tests can be found here!

In regards to alcohol, to be written a DWI your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the most common way NC determines if you’re legally impaired.

Legal Limits For BAC:

  • 21 years old or Older: 0.08%
  • Commercial drivers (CDL): 0.04%
  • Younger than 21: Any alcohol concentration
  • Prior DWI: 0.04%

The illegal drugs list for which a driver can be issued a DWI include(but are no limited to): cocaine, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, morphine, amphetamines, opium, and peyote. If you are charged with a DWI in NC for having any of these substances in your system, you will need the assistance of a Durham, NC criminal lawyer to protect you and your rights. Here at the Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski we have the experience necessary to assist you in your legal matters revolving around a DWI charge.

How Does North Carolina Rank Nationally?

Currently North Carolina does pretty well against the national average. NC is ranked in the bottom third for all states in DWI tickets per capita. In 2013 29% of all deaths on NC road were alcohol related, which again ranks in the bottom third of the country. To compare, the highest was our neighbor and shared name sake South Carolina with 44 percent of traffic deaths stemming from alcohol related crashes. In other words, North Carolina ranks well in most areas related to DWI and alcohol related offenses. Our 1-200 odds for getting a DWI is actually one of the lowest in the country. While this does mean that NC is rather progressive in this area, DWI and alcohol related crashes are still a larger problem for our state. Drunk driving is the largest cause of traffic fatalities, claiming more 10,000 lives a year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.) It’s hard not to be affected by stats like this throughout our lives, almost every person knows someone who has been injured or killed in a drunk driving accident especially knowing that these are preventable.

However, Some people may attribute the dropping DWI rates to easy access to ride share apps like Uber and Lyft. However, as we noted in an earlier blog, these ride share apps do not always lower DWI rates and things like education and strict law enforcement are probably better deterrents.

You Have Been Charged With A DWI In Durham, NC.  Do You Need A Lawyer?

Being charged with a DWI in Durham NC is a serious offense and hiring a lawyer is an incredibly important decision. Given today’s political environment, if you are accused of DWI it is imperative that you find an attorney with the experience to test the State’s case and ensure an acceptable outcome is reached. No other charge in NC is as heavily scrutinized as a DWI in NC and having this on your record can cause serious harm to your official reputation. All charges such as a DWI are public record in NC unless expunged by the courts. This can cause extreme harm to your current and future employment and being represented by experienced DWI attorneys like the Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski can make a significant difference in your outcome with the state.

Why Should I Choose the Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski

Over the years Matthew has defended hundreds of Driving While Impaired cases both in District and Superior Courts throughout the state. As such, Matthew has the skill set and experience necessary to handle your DWI case. Give the Law Office of Matthew Charles Suczynski, PLLC a call today to discuss your case at (919) 619-3242 or visit our DWI page for more information

Charged With A DWI/DUI? Need A Local Lawyer?

If you’ve been charged with DWI/DUI, then it’s vital to find an attorney who will do everything in his power to test the State’s case and protect your rights. We proudly service Durham County, Orange County, and Alamance County; as well as the surrounding Triangle. Schedule A Consultation

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