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Monday, January 25, 2010

Driving Impaired In North Carolina- Police Need to Check the Right Box!

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently issued a case, Lee v. Gore, that affects driving impaired/ driving under the influence (DWI/DUI) cases in North Carolina. Simply stated, when a person is issued a North Carolina Drivers License, the person essentially agrees to submit to a breath or blood test if a police officer believes you are impaired. If you refuse, your license can be automatically suspended by the NC DMV for 12 months. However, the police officer or the person who administered the blood/breath test must correctly fill out an affidavit stating that the implied consent procedures were correctly administered. In a refusal case, one in which the police alleges that the person refused to supply a sample, this affidavit contains additional information. In the Lee v. Gore case, the police officer failed to check the box that stated the driver willfully refused to submit to a chemical analysis. The NC Court of Appeals ruled that the language of the law required the affidavit to be filled out correctly and, in Lee v. Gore, the North Carolina DMV had no basis to revoke the persons drivers license for 12 months when the form was not filled out correctly.

The UNC School of Government wrote an interesting post on this today. They have a daily blog on legal issues that many North Carolina criminal defense attorneys follow. It also provides another example on how technical driving while impaired cases are in North Carolina. After arrested for a DUI, many feel there is no chance of success, especially in cases where there is a high blood alcohol reading. However, a good DWI lawyer in North Carolina looks at every issue- the complex, and in some cases, as straight forward as failure to check a box. So, if Driving Impaired in North Carolina, Police need to check the Right Box!

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posted by Carilyn Ibsen at

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