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Greenville DUI Law Blog

Blood testing failure results in review of DUI cases

Did you know that there is a significant difference in your blood alcohol level depending on whether your "whole blood" or your "blood serum" is tested? It's true, and it just caused a county in Pennsylvania to suffer a major embarrassment.

The county's district attorney admitted that numerous cases were corrupted when the hospital in charge of testing blood samples tested the suspect's blood serum instead of their "whole blood." As a result, the results of their blood alcohol content test may have come back as much as 15 percent higher than what they were supposed to be. 

With a BAC of 0.09, former police chief arrested for DWI

The former police chief of Greensboro, North Carolina was arrested recently for driving while intoxicated. The 54-year-old man was a police officer for 27 years, three of which were spent as the police chief of Greensboro. In 2010, he retired from his post and in 2012 he was appointed the director of public safety at North Carolina Central University.

The former police chief was pulled over on a Saturday night at about 12:40 a.m. The officer who performed the traffic stop said he smelled alcohol emanating from the vehicle and that the former police chief had glassy eyes. The officer then performed a Breathalyzer test on the 54-year-old, which came back with a reading of 0.09.

T-shirt of drunk driving suspect catches internet's eye

A recent drunk driving incident made the internet rounds not because of the circumstances of the traffic stop or the arrest -- but because of the t-shirt the accused individual was wearing when his mug shot was taken.

The 19-year-old was arrested for drunk driving and when he was taken to jail, the police took his mug shot. The 19-year-old had a very interesting wardrobe choice: he wore a shirt with a previous mug shot of him. The photo quickly went viral, though no other details were provided about the entire incident.

Labor Day weekend and increased DUI patrols are on horizon

Labor Day weekend is fast approaching, and just like many other holidays, this means that there will be an increased police presence on many roads all across the country. These increased patrols are usually aimed at preventing, identifying and targeting drunk driving. Obviously, the best way to avoid getting swept up in one of these increased patrols over Labor Day weekend is to avoid drinking and driving.

However, there will undoubtedly be many people who drink a little too much and decide to get behind the wheel of a car over the holiday weekend. Many of these people will be swept up in a DUI charge but just be barely over the limit. They may even think that they were under the limit when they opted to drive.

Appeal of breath test refusal fails due to 'ambiguous' answer

While the following story didn't happen here in North Carolina and even though it's a bit older, it highlights a very critical point about breath tests when a person is accused of driving while intoxicated.

In 2012, a woman was pulled over and accused of drunk driving. When she was asked about taking a breath test, she responded with lines such as "do I have a choice?" and "I guess, yes. What am I gonna say?" Such ambiguous language, according to the police and the court, meant that the woman was refusing a breath test because the question the police asked her requires only a "yes" or "no" answer.

'Super extreme" DUI by NBA player draws national attention

While the following story didn't occur here in Greenville, or anywhere in North Carolina for that matter, it still brings an interesting issue to the table regarding drunk driving and the perception of people who operate a vehicle above the legal blood alcohol limit.

PJ Tucker, an NBA player who was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, was recently arrested for driving under the influence in Phoenix, where he applies his basketball skills. The Phoenix Suns' player recently signed a $16.5 million contract with the team. When Tucker was pulled over by police, a preliminary breath test showed that Tucker's blood alcohol level was 0.201. He then went in for a blood test that showed his blood alcohol content was actually 0.222.

Uber touts ridesharing as a way to combat drunk driving

Many Greenville residents have probably heard of "ridesharing," a relatively new concept that was born by the tech industry. Ridesharing is very simple: it takes the concept of taxis and makes the job available for everyone. Using a cellphone app, any person could use their own personal vehicle as a taxi, and then pick people up who use the app and drive them to their destination for a nominal fee.

Companies like Uber and Lyft have dominated this new industry, and have thrived by revolutionizing the way taxis work. Taxi companies, meanwhile, have struggled to stay ahead of the curve. This is a major shift in society -- but there is another way that these ridesharing companies are apparently impacting the world.

Does the 0.08 BAC law still apply after your first DWI?

As everyone knows, the blood alcohol limit for a driver in North Carolina -- let alone every state in the U.S. -- is 0.08. When a driver violates the DWI law in North Carolina, they are subject to drunk driving charges. Eventually they will get back out on the road. But when they do, are they still subject to the 0.08 BAC limit?

The answer is "probably not." Instead, if you have a prior charge for driving while intoxicated, you are then subject to a blood alcohol limit of 0.04. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule. If your driving record is superb, then you may be off the hook. Additionally, if your first DWI saw you arrested and convicted after July 1, 2001, then it could impact your second offense.

Study finds unintended consequence of minimum drinking age

Last week was the 30th anniversary of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, which essentially forced states to bump up their minimum drinking age to 21 unless they wanted to miss out on highway funding from the federal government. For the most part, this law came into existence because of a critical social and health problem: people between the ages of 16 and 20 were the most common drunk drivers, and in 1982 roughly 61 percent of fatal car accidents involved a "young driver."

Here we can see a clear indicator that the drinking age law worked. In 1995, only about 31 percent of fatal car accident involved a "young driver."

Insurance price hike after DUI/DWI can be crippling

A recent study found that one of the 10 worst places to drive is Knoxville, which is near the North Carolina-Tennessee border. While the study found that the city nearly averaged 1,200 arrests per year for drunk driving, that's not the important element we're taking away from this story -- though it should be noted that Knoxville officials dispute the numbers associated with their city.

Instead, the key part of this study that we found interesting is the fact that people in Knoxville who were convicted of a DUI or DWI saw their insurance rates jump up dramatically. On average, their premiums increased by 50 percent.