Driving After Consuming Under the Age of 21 (Underage DWI)
In North Carolina, if an individual is under the age of 21 it is against the law for them to drive a motor vehicle on a public street, highway or vehicular area after consuming any amount of alcohol or other controlled substance. Depending upon the facts of the case, you can also be charged with the Driving While Impaired (DWI). The punishments for a conviction of driving after consuming can be very similar to a DWI conviction
and may negatively affect your drivers license and future goals in an individuals career.
In a case of Driving After consuming the State of North Carolina must prove that the driver had consumed alcohol or a controlled substance in order to obtain a conviction for Driving after Consuming Under the Age of 21. If you are stopped by a police offer for drinking and driving you are subject to the North Carolina's Implied-Consent Law
. Based upon the North Carolina law, any person who drives a vehicle on a public street, highway or vehicular area gives implied consent to a chemical analysis.
After being stopped by the Police, any law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that the person stopped has committed an implied-consent offense may obtain a chemical analysis of that person. A person may refuse any test but your Driver's License may be revoked for a year and under certain circumstances may be revoked for a longer period of time. An officer may be able to compel you to be tested after obtaining a valid search warrant for blood or urine samples.
Generally, an odor of alcoholic beverage on the breath of a driver alone is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that during the time the driver was operating the motor vehicle that the alcohol remained in the driver's body. Typically, an alcohol screening test, breathalyzer or intoxilyzer breath test, can be administered to the driver that is being stopped on suspicion of driving after consuming under the age of 21 and the results of those test may be used by a law enforcement officer or a court to determine that alcohol was present. This information may be used by the court to pursue the charge of driving after consuming under the age of 21.