Tag Archives: north carolina dui lawyer

Are Raleigh DWIs Public Record?

Public records are any kind of information pertaining to a governmental agency. It’s data or other information collected by the government that isn’t of a confidential nature. The most common public records are birth and death records, marriage and divorce records, lien information and bankruptcy records, but there are quite a number of others. Accessibility depends on what state you live in.

Companies that charge for online record searches (i.e., Intellius) also use public records for background checks and people searcher functions. While they can provide the information you can find yourself, the sites can gather it much faster.

But after a DUI arrest, you may be wondering if anyone else can, or will, find out about it.

Arrest Records Are Public Records

Are Raleigh DWIs Public Record?

If you’ve been arrested in Raleigh for DWI—or anything else—anyone can find out about it through a public record search.

According to the Wake County website, any kind of governmental record collected by any state agency is considered to be “property of the people.” Any information of this kind is to be made public unless it is specifically marked as confidential in nature (i.e., with identifying information such as a date of birth or Social Security numbers.) This includes arrest records, real estate deeds and other types of information that involves a public entity. Wake County abides by the North Carolina Public Records Law, found at N.C.G.S. Chapter 132, which explains public records in further detail.

Public records are required to be made available to the public for free or for a “nominal cost,” but are also accessible online. Internet access to public records is immediate, as well as saves Wake County money on maintenance, staff, and overhead.

City-County Bureau of Identification (CCBI)

Wake County arrest records are in the CCBI portal and are searchable for free. The types of offenses that are in the database are listed in the North Carolina General Statute § 15A-502. Driving while intoxicated is included in the list. You can access the database online and for free. However, current case status and dispositions are not included in the database but are available in the Wake County Clerk of Superior Court’s Office.

How It Affects You

Anytime you’re asked if you’ve been arrested, you’re required to disclose that you have (unless you’ve had an expunction in NC.)  Background checks for employment, housing, education and other things are easy to get, so if you don’t answer truthfully, you’ll be found out almost immediately.

Loans like mortgages, student loans, credit cards and other types of revolving charges may be more difficult to get. This can limit your ability to acquire housing, education, and other necessities.

Additionally, a DUI arrest almost immediately raises your insurance rate, since you’re now “high risk.” You may even be dropped by your insurance company, but there are some insurers who offer insurance to those who have a DUI.

Fight The DUI

Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who works to defend DUI cases. He will prepare a strong defense and make sure you receive a fair trial under the law. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 for a free consultation. You can also email him at dewey@deweybrinkleylaw.com.

 

Are DUI Checkpoints Legal?

Drunk driving. It’s a serious problem in the US, including North Carolina, and one that even the US Supreme Court feels is important enough to rule on.

The Fourth Amendment

This is the amendment that prohibits illegal search and seizures. However, The Supreme Court has ruled that because drunk driving is such a danger, DUI checkpoints aren’t illegal. They just have to be random, and not used for general crime control.

Are DUI Checkpoints Legal?

In other words, the checkpoints are put up randomly and in various places, (i.e., not on a particular intersection every weekend) to enable police to check for drunk drivers. Should police encounter other, non-vehicular violations, (such as wanted suspects for other crimes) they are allowed to place these individuals under arrest. But they can’t use the checkpoints for that reason.

Checkpoints also have to be publicly announced. You can find out when and where checkpoints will happen at RoadBlock.org or DUIBlock.com.

North Carolina’s Gen. Stat. §20-16.3A also makes the state’s DUI (“sobriety”) checkpoints legal for the purpose of finding and removing drivers under the influence who are a danger to other drivers.

Checkpoints usually occur late at night and early in the morning in the areas of bars and restaurants where, presumably, drunk drivers will frequently be caught.

Probable Cause

As a rule, a police officer must have probable cause to suspect you and stop you for something. Because of The Supreme Court’s ruling, DUI checkpoints in response to the innate dangers of drunk drivers do not override the rights of all drivers under the Fourth Amendment.

You Are Required To Stop

Since police officers are looking for drunk drivers at DUI checkpoints, you are required to stop. If you’re not drunk driving, have a current license and insurance, and not committing any other sort of crime, your stop will be quick and easy. It’s better to just go through the checkpoint and you’ll be on your way, even if it’s just a few minutes of delay.

If you see a DUI checkpoint or roadblock and turn left, right or around to avoid it, the police have the right to follow you, stop you, and specifically ask you why you avoided the stop. Even if your turn was completely legal and legitimate, (such as turning at an intersection or stop light to go to your residence or workplace) police have the right to stop you and ask about it.

Detecting Inebriation

If the officer suspects any inebriation or you exhibit signs of it, you’ll be asked to pull over and exit your vehicle. The officer will then ask you to submit to field sobriety testing and may administer a breath and/or blood test. You are required to comply or risk seizure of your driver’s license.

Get A Strong DUI Defense Attorney

The laws surrounding DUIs are complex. Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County Assistant District Attorney who has strongly defended numerous DUI cases and will fight for you in court. A DUI is a serious charge, and you need someone who will make sure your rights are protected. Call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at 919-832-0307 to schedule your free DUI case consultation.

What Are DUI Checkpoints, And Are They Legal?

You’re driving down a highway, minding your own business, and then you see the flashing lights. The police, doing a random checkpoint for DUI. No problem, until you realize you’ve had a craft beer. Or a locally made wine. Or a glass of whiskey with a friend. What do you do now? Are these DUI checkpoints even legal? Can they really do that?

DUI Checkpoints Are Legal

North Carolina has some of the toughest DUI laws in the US. DUI is taken very seriously, and the state allows random checkpoints to find and detain inebriated drivers before they cause crashes, injuries and possibly deaths on the road. Checkpoints can also be used to find unlicensed and uninsured drivers, something that can’t be observed by general driving behaviors.

What Are DUI Checkpoints, And Are They Legal?

These checkpoints are legal under N.C. Gen. Stat. §20-16.3A. While the Fourth Amendment protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures, the Supreme Court has ruled that DUI is serious enough problem that random checkpoints are legal, and not a violation of the Fourth Amendment. Police cannot use checkpoints as a regular method of general crime control, that is, seek out non-traffic related violations.

DUI checkpoints are required to be random, not in the same place on a regular basis. Since surprise is the most effective way of catching inebriated drivers, checkpoints are only identified by flashing police lights.

Generally, the police must have probable cause to stop someone. But in response to the epidemic of drunk driving, checkpoints became an easier way to find and remove drivers from traffic. The government has a direct interest in combating drunk driving, and checkpoints are effective in finding those drivers to get them off the road. The US Supreme Court ruled them legal in response to the demand in 1990.

North Carolina also allows checkpoints to look for uninsured and unlicensed drivers, as well as those using suspended licenses. They don’t need a warrant, only need to follow written policies and ensure that the checks are completely random.

Your Rights DUI Checkpoints

NC DWI Sentencing Guidelines | Dewey Brinkley DWI Attorney in Raleigh

Since the checkpoints are lega but controversial, you can object, but you are still subject to being stopped and questioned.

You can refuse a Breathalyzer test at the checkpoint, but you may be required to take other sobriety testing. Refusing may also imply guilt, you could be brought to the station, and it could harm your case later.

You can also request to wait for your attorney. But that may be interpreted as giving yourself time to allow your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) to decrease before it’s tested.

Don’t Turn Around

If you see a checkpoint, your first temptation may be to turn around and go in the other direction, even if you haven’t been near alcohol.

You may get away with it, and you may not. Police have the right to follow you and pull you over to ask why you decided to avoid the checkpoint. Even without alcohol, police see it as a presumption of guilt and avoiding them. You could even be taken into the station.

The Easy Way To Get Through A DUI Checkpoint

It’s simple: stop when told, answer questions, be polite, comply with the officer’s requests, take a test if asked, and you’ll be on your way. If you haven’t been drinking, you’ll be driving again quickly.

Need Help After A DUI Checkpoint?

Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County Assistant District Attorney. He’s aggressively defended numerous DUI cases and will fight for you in court. DUI isn’t something to be taken lightly, and you need someone in your corner. Call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at 919-832-0307 to schedule your free DUI consultation.