A campus police officer says he found a woman asleep in her car near a utility building on the University of North Carolina Campus. At the time she was found, authorities say she was wearing only a black bra. After finding her in the car, the police officer arrested her on suspicion of driving while impaired.
Apparently at some point during the encounter with law enforcement, the woman submitted to an alcohol test. Authorities claim the alcohol test returned results showing the woman’s blood alcohol level was 0.24 and 0.23 percent. North Carolina law presumes impairment for the purposes of DWI charges at a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent for people age 21 and older. However, the minimum legal limit is only part of the complex DWI laws in the state.
The potential penalties for a DWI conviction can vary depending upon a variety of aggravating and mitigating factors listed in section 20 of the Motor Vehicle Code. Included as an aggravating factor to be weighed in sentencing is gross impairment while driving, which is defined in the statute as an alcohol level of 0.15 percent or more.
North Carolina DWI laws, which as this blog has reported will provide stiffer penalties for certain grossly aggravating factors under “Laura’s Law” that becomes effective on December 1, provide a complex array of aggravating factors and mitigating factors that can be involved in sentencing. An experienced Greenville DWI defense attorney can help explain the complexity of the strict North Carolina DWI statutes to allow a person facing charges to better understand what they are actually facing.
The UNC student who was recently arrested on suspicion of DWI charges after being found asleep in her car argues in her DWI defense that she may have been a victim as someone may have drugged her without her knowledge.
Source: Gaston Gazette, “Woman found drunk and naked may have been drugged, attorney says,” Nov. 13, 2011