A recent story in the news out of Wilkesboro, North Carolina underscores how broadly the laws prohibiting driving while impaired may apply in the state. Most people understand that North Carolina's DWI laws apply to cars, motorcycles, trucks and other types of motor vehicles that are traditionally recognized as motor vehicles. From time-to-time, a story about DWI charges in the state may involve a different type of "vehicle."
Authorities in Wilkesboro reported to the scene of a moped accident near Wilkes Community College recently to find a person witnesses say was riding a moped up and down the street for about 30 minutes before crashing the moped. Law enforcement says that the Wilkesboro man was unsteady on his feet after the moped wreck. However, authorities also say that the man smelled of alcohol and apparently decided to investigate the accident victim for a possible DWI offense.
Officials say that officers had to assist the accident victim in walking to the patrol car, where police apparently asked the man to submit to a roadside alcohol sensor test. Police claim the roadside test registered a 0.33 percent alcohol level. Police say that the man admitted to drinking four glasses of Vodka that day. Police also claim that the man had a small, airline-style bottle of Vodka with him that law enforcement discovered during a search.
The man has been charged with DWI for allegedly driving drunk on a moped along Collegiate Drive in Wilkesboro. Authorities claim that the man has three prior DWI convictions on his record.
This blog has previously discussed a variety of DWI allegations involving conveyances other than traditional cars. While the DWI law may apply to a variety of different vehicles, it is important to note that criminal charges do not equate to a finding of guilt.
Generally, criminal defense lawyers not only review the facts underlying a criminal charge, but the law itself to help ensure that the government does not overstep its authority in seeking to enforce the laws. While mopeds and other forms of vehicles may be within the scope of the DWI laws, it is important for people accused of DWI to speak to a DWI defense lawyer to learn what defenses may be available in a specific set of circumstances.
Source: WMFY News 2, "Man Crashes Moped Charged With DWI In Wilkesboro," Jan. 10, 2013