29Mar, 2018

New Drugged Driving Test Could Lead to More NC Charges
Posted By: Schlosser & Pritchett

New Drugged Driving Test Could Lead to More NC Charges

A new method is being tested that is supposedly more accurate at detecting marijuana in a driver’s system. How does it work?

With the new system, a police officer would take a sample from the offender’s mouth, using a cotton swab to collect saliva. The testing kit boasts 100 percent accuracy rate for detecting marijuana use.

The new testing process would also speed result collection. Currently, states must submit samples to a lab for testing. This new test is said to take only minutes, so results could be obtained at the scene of the arrest.

Police officers say they would continue to use observation tests in addition to the new saliva test to determine whether a driver is under the influence of a drug.

If it becomes widespread, the test will likely lead to an increase in drugged driving charges.

In this post, we’ll explain the drugged driving laws as they stand now and how charges apply for a drugged driving arrest.

Drugged Driving Laws in North Carolina

North Carolina has an implied consent law. This means if an individual is driving on a public area or highway in the state, a law enforcement officer has the right to obtain a chemical sample from the individual if reasonable grounds exist that you may be under the influence of an impairing substance.

Impaired driving is a criminal offense in North Carolina. A charge can apply for any impairing substance that shows up in urine or blood samples. If any Schedule I drug shows up in these tests, a charge will automatically apply.

The implied consent law does allow for an individual to refuse testing, but an automatic penalty of one year of license revocation will apply and may be extended in some situations.

Penalties for Drugged Driving in North Carolina

Penalties for drugged driving vary based on the conditions surrounding the arrest, including mitigating factors such as reckless behavior or prior convictions.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand your charges and explain the possible sentencing in your case. Here is a general guideline for you to know what to expect.

Level 5 Punishment

  • Up to $200 in fines
  • Between 24 hours and 60 days of imprisonment
  • Sentence reduction available for 24 hours community service

Level 4 Punishment

  • Up to $500 in fines
  • Between 48 hours and 120 days of imprisonment
  • Sentence reduction for 48 hours of community service
  • Substance abuse treatment requirement

Level 3 Punishment

  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Between 72 hours and six months of imprisonment
  • Sentence reduction available for 72 hours of community service
  • Substance abuse assessment requirement

Level 2 Punishment

  • Up to $2,000 in fines
  • Between seven days and 12 months of imprisonment
  • Sentence reduction possibly available for seven days of imprisonment
  • Substance abuse assessment may be required
  • Possible continuous monitoring for alcohol use for 30 to 60 days

Level 1 Punishment

  • Up to $4,000 in fines
  • Between 30 days and 24 months of imprisonment
  • Sentence reduction possibly available for 30 days of imprisonment
  • Substance abuse assessment may be required
  • Possible continuous monitoring for alcohol use for 30 to 60 days

Greensboro DUI Lawyer

As you can see, these penalties are serious. A charge does not have to mean a conviction, though. Reach out today for a free case review with an experienced North Carolina criminal attorney who will help you fight your charges.