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What should I do if I have been pulled over and I have been drinking?

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Winner of The Charlotte Observer’s 2013 Best Charlotte Lawyer Award and Criminal Defense Attorney Brad Smith of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question: What should I do if I have been pulled over and I have been drinking?

Question: "What should I do if I have been pulled over and I have been drinking?”

Brad Smith:

Well drinking and driving is not against the law in North Carolina.

So if you go to TGI Friday’s and you have a margarita and you get in your automobile, that’s not against the law.

What is against the law in North Carolina is to drive an automobile while subject to impairing substance, when that impairing substance is appreciably impairing your mental and physical faculties. That is kind of the legal definition of being drunk.

So if you find yourself in an automobile and you get pulled over and you have been drinking, and you don’t have any reason to believe that you’ve consumed enough alcohol that you would find yourself with your mental dexterity impaired or your physical dexterity impaired then you really don’t have anything to worry about.

Give the officer your driver’s license, cooperate with him if he asks you to blow into a little whistle looking device, do his field sobriety tests.

It’s again important to realize that there is no reason for you to clam up or be afraid of a police officer, he is basically just doing his job and if you know that you haven’t consumed a whole bunch of alcohol then you have nothing to worry about then you don’t have anything to worry about