Tag Archives: dwi lawyer

Distracted Driving And The Law—What You Should Know In Raleigh

While drunk driving gets a lot of attention, intoxicated persons are not the only dangerous drivers on the road.

Distracted Driving And The Law—What You Should Know In RaleighDistracted driving—especially texting while driving—causes a fair number of accidents by itself. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 3,500 people in the US were killed in 2015 by distracted drivers, and 391,000 are injured in the same way every year.

Teenage drivers are the largest group of offenders, but every day over 660,000 people in the US are doing something else while they’re driving in broad daylight:

·         Talking on their cell phone

·         Texting/emailing using their cell phone

·         Eating/drinking

·         Adjusting the stereo or another entertainment system

·         Other tasks that take attention away from driving

North Carolina’s “It Can Wait” campaign, as well as tougher new laws, aren’t having the positive effect officials hoped it would. That means a lot of people are still driving around and not paying enough attention to the road and other vehicles. If this is you, there are a few things you need to know.

Driving Distractions Cause Accidents

Anything that distracts your full attention from the road can cause a driver to be distracted enough to cause a crash. Texting is particularly dangerous not only because of the distraction factor but also by the cognitive actions involved—typing, reading, sending. (This is also called “inattentional blindness.”)  All drivers are prohibited from texting in North Carolina.

AT&T has an online driving simulator that demonstrates how dangerous texting and driving can be.

While we know there are times where you “really need to take this call,” play it safe and pull over to the side of the road to do so if you can.

The Police Can Pull You Over For Texting

If your vehicle is in motion and you are caught texting behind the wheel, you can be pulled over and ticketed, with a $100 fine. This is true even if you’ve committed no other traffic violation (such as speeding or running a red light.) It’s not illegal to read or send texts or emails if your vehicle is stopped or parked (such as at a red light or in a parking lot while waiting for someone.)

“Novice Drivers,” those who are under 18, are prohibited from all cell phone use while driving, not just texting.

School bus drivers are also prohibited from using a cell phone while driving. This includes handheld and hands-free phone use.

GPS devices are currently allowed, however, they are also a distraction and can also cause an accident, as does using a cell phone’s GPS app.

What’s Next?

Although there is a movement to stop all cell phone while driving in North Carolina, not just texting, it hasn’t happened yet. Deaths in North Carolina have been attributed to distracted driving, but there really isn’t anything beyond the texting ban, yet.

Earlier this year, the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program launched “One Call Could Wreck It All,” an initiative to remind drivers to stop driving distracted. AT&T launched “It Can Wait” in 2013, and continues to promote safe driving, along with encouraging drivers everywhere to take their pledge and not drive distracted.

Let Dewey P. Brinkley Help

If you’ve been in an accident caused by distracted driving, contact our office at 919-832-0307 for a free consultation today. Mr. Brinkley is a Board Certified Specialist and an experienced defense lawyer who will represent you in court and ensure you have a fair trial with the strongest possible defense. He has extensive trial experience as a prosecutor in Wake County, North Carolina, and will work closely with you to build your case for trial. Don’t wait–call today.

Can You Get Insured After A DWI In Raleigh, NC?

The aftermath of a DWI is devastating. Arrest. Court. Maybe even a conviction. You need time to sort through everything and put your life back together.

When everything’s all over, your license has been restored and you’re back driving again, there’s something else you’ll need before you get behind the wheel—car insurance. But can you get insured after a DWI?

Starting Over

Can You Get Insured After A DWI In Raleigh, NC?

Once your insurance company is informed of your DWI, your policy will either become much more expensive because of the higher risk, or it will be cancelled completely (usually in the form of non-renewal.)

In either case, you may have a difficult time getting insurance again. There are agencies who will issue a policy, but it could be drastically more expensive than before. There are some insurers that offer policies for people who have been arrested and/or convicted of a DWI.

If you have been able to acquire limited driving privileges, you’ll need to make sure you still have car insurance, or if you’ll need to find a new company.

How Long Will This Last?

North Carolina uses a point system, called the Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SDIP). It’s used to calculate your insurance rates in the state. A DWI adds 12 points to your license at once, and your insurance can increase a whopping 400% after a conviction. (If you are a CDL holder and use it for your primary occupation, a DWI could cost you your livelihood.) Those points stay on your driving record for three years, and any additional infractions (tickets, accidents, etc.) will continue to add points and increase your insurance rates. Insurers only look at a driver’s previous three years to assess insurance rates.

Without any additional points, your rates should begin to decrease after three years.

Until Then

You may be stuck paying much higher insurance premiums due to the increased risk. Your liability limits are likely to be higher, too. Or you may decide to find another company that caters to DWI clients, and that might be less expensive. Once you have your license restored, you’ll need to prove to the state that you have auto insurance.

North Carolina requires anyone convicted of a DWI to complete an alcohol/ assessment, and may require an alcohol/drug treatment program during the license suspension.

Many North Carolina insurers will assume the increased risk of a DUI client, and offer policies with that risk. After the stark reality of a DWI, most people don’t repeat the behavior after completing the required processes, assessments and treatments.

Non-Owner’s Policy

One option is to consider is contacting a company that can offer you what’s called a “non-owner’s policy.” That is, you’re insured to drive, even though you don’t own a car However, there are limitations involved.

If you find yourself car-free after your DWI, and you aren’t buying one again for a while, a non-owner’s policy will allow you keep continuous insurance and drive occasionally (if you’re allowed to.)  This is important for future insurance rates as well. The key is whether or not you have “regular access to an automobile.” You’ll only be driving occasionally, not on a daily basis. After a DWI, this may be an option to consider.

We Can Help

Getting your life back together after a DWI in Raleigh isn’t easy. We’ve helped people like you in the Raleigh/Wake County area who have been through DWI. An aggressive DWI defense attorney can help you through the entire process, fight for you and help you get your life back. For a free consultation, contact our office at 919-832-0307 or use the contact form online.

3 DWI Defenses in North Carolina — Raleigh DWI Lawyer

3 DWI Defenses in North Carolina | Raleigh DWI Lawyer Dewey Brinkley

When stopped for DWI, blowing into the breathalyzer, or submitting a chemical test, it’s easy to think, “I’m getting a DWI; there’s no way out of this.” However, there are many ways to defend a DWI charge in North Carolina. With the help of an experienced and knowledgeable Raleigh DWI lawyer, such as attorney Dewey P. Brinkley, you can confront the prosecution’s evidence and narrative while challenging the police’s reasons for stopping the vehicle as well as the procedures during the arrest and booking.


Remember, you have rights, and from the stop to the booking procedures at a Raleigh or Wake County court, Raleigh DWI lawyer Dewey Brinkley will use the full extent of North Carolina and federal laws to ensure that your rights are protected. For a free, no-obligation consultation with the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, call our Raleigh DWI defense firm today at (919) 832-0307.

The Knoll DWI Defense

The Knoll DWI defense is a common strategy when determining if the magistrate or law enforcement allowed the defendant a witness so that he/she could use his/her right to create a defense. This defense comes from the 1984 case of North Carolina v. David Knoll. In this case, Knoll was being charged with a DWI after blowing 0.30, but he was challenging the fact that the magistrate had violated his right to gain access to witnesses. The North Carolina court upheld Knoll’s defense, and found that the magistrate committed substantial statutory violations related to the setting of conditions of pretrial release that prejudiced the defendant’s ability to gain access to witnesses.

Especially in implied consent cases, it’s really important to allow defendants access to witnesses as quickly as possible. This is because the charge that you were impaired when driving requires a witness who may be able to rebut the allegations (or confirm them) by observing your behavior at a relevant time in reference to your driving.

Furthermore, the Knoll Defense can be effective when there is no “good” reason for the magistrate to set a secured bond and deny you this right to a witness; going through the process of posting a bond can take hours. If the witness would have been allowed immediate access to you, then your ability to prepare a defense may not have been prejudiced. As such, through the Knoll DWI defense, you and your attorney can argue that the violation led to irreparable prejudice as it relates to preparing your defense.

The Ferguson DWI Defense

In addition to the Knoll DWI defense, there is also the Ferguson DWI defense. This method refers to the 1988 case of North Carolina v. Walter Ferguson. In this case, Mr. Ferguson claimed that he was denied his Constitutional and statutory right to a witness to observe the breathalyzer test.

The “Ferguson method” is now known as a method to get a DWI dismissed on the grounds that the witness wasn’t allowed access to the intox room to observe the breath test. In North Carolina, when being arrested for a DWI, you have the right to 30 minutes to contact a witness and have that witness come down to the station to observe your breath test. If your witness arrives and isn’t allowed to the intox room to observe the process, then you may have a defense.

Like the Knoll defense, and especially in implied consent cases, there is a need to allow access to witnesses as quickly as possible.

The Absher DWI Defense

The Absher DWI defense refers to the 2009 case of North Carolina V. Paul Absher. In this case, Mr. Absher claimed that, since the video that was in the custody of the State had been destroyed, his case had been hurt as a result. As such, when defending a DWI, the “Absher method” is a way to get the DWI dismissed on the grounds that the government and/or law enforcement had destroyed or lost evidence that would have been favorable in your case.

Remember, the government has a duty to present evidence, even if it is favorable for the defendant. If the prosecution lost or destroyed the video record of the arrest, or perhaps the footage was mislabeled or it didn’t download properly on the police station’s servers, then you may have the possibility to get your DWI dismissed.

How Can Raleigh DWI Lawyer Brinkley Help

There are many ways to fight a DWI charge in North Carolina, but it’s essential to have an experienced and competent DWI lawyer who can maximize the benefit of these defenses while building evidence, witnesses, and a comprehensive narrative to fight for your rights and freedoms. Don’t let the numbers on the breathalyzer dictate the outcome of your DWI case, and call Raleigh DWI lawyer Dewey Brinkley today at (919) 832-0307. Free consultations are available.

Ignition Interlock Laws in North Carolina — Raleigh DWI Lawyer Dewey Brinkley

Someday in the future, vehicle technology will be so advanced that the vehicle won’t start until it’s sure that the driver is sober (or, self-driving cars may create new inroads into DWI law). Until this future arrives, however, North Carolina drivers charged with DWI will have to settle with ignition interlock devices.

In short, ignition interlock devices check a driver’s breath for alcohol before letting the car engine start. The law in North Carolina mandates ignition interlock devices for drivers convicted of repeat DWIs, drivers who refuse a chemical test during a traffic stop, and drivers who blow a 0.15 BAC, nearly double the 0.08 limit that legally defines impaired driving. Nevertheless, if you’ve been arrested for DWI, you should always contact an experienced Raleigh DWI lawyer who understands North Carolina ignition interlock laws.

For a free consultation with the DWI attorneys at the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, call our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307. In the meantime, you can learn more about ignition interlock laws in North Carolina below.

Understanding the Ignition Interlock Laws in North Carolina

Over 11,000 drivers in North Carolina have ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. For the most part, these devices look and function like a personal breathalyzer, and drivers must blow into the device before starting the car and again at various intervals throughout the journey. If, at any time, the breathalyzer detects a BAC at 0.08 or higher, then the car won’t move.

In 26 other states in the US, the law requires ignition interlocks for everybody convicted of DWI, including first-time offenders. Although North Carolina legislators have attempted to push a bill that makes ignition interlocks a requirement for even first-time offenders, ignition interlock law in North Carolina is still only required for repeat offenders, individuals who had their license revoked, and for the reasons stated above.

There are a few laws regarding North Carolina’s ignition interlock regulations, and if you were arrested for DWI, it can be helpful to know these laws so that you understand what may come following the court’s criminal proceedings. These laws include:

  • G.S. 20-179.3 — If a driver blows 0.15 or more, then an ignition interlock device is required.
  • G.S. 20-17.8 — The DMV must require an ignition interlock device when an individual’s conviction of impaired driving includes (a) an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more or (b) commission of a second impaired driving offense within seven years after a prior impaired driving conviction.
  • G.S. 20-28 — The DMV must also require an ignition interlock device as a condition of license restoration following a revocation for an impaired driving offense.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ignition Interlock Devices

Below, we’ve compiled a few FAQs that many drivers in North Carolina have about ignition interlock devices:

  •  How much does the device cost? — It is important to remember that ignition interlock devices can be expensive for drivers. On average, drivers may have to pay $2.50 a day for each of the household cars that use the device. Keep in mind that there are a few options for individuals who cannot afford the device.
  •  Can you bypass the ignition interlock device? — Ignition interlock devices need to meet strict government regulations and designed with safety and security. As such, if a person tries to circumvent this device, the penalties can be severe. Remember, all events on these devices are recorded and rolling tests may be required periodically.
  • What if someone else drives the vehicle after drinking? — When someone else is driving the vehicle after drinking, and fails the ignition interlock test, there may be little you can do. Some devices have cameras that verify the user; however, you may responsible for making sure those driving your vehicle do not drive intoxicated.
  •  Can other people drive my car? — As long as the other people are not (or haven’t been) drinking, and taught how to use the device, all they need to do is blow into the device and start driving.
  • Do these devices really reduce drunk driving behavior? — Studies have shown that ignition interlock devices reduce repeated offenses by 67 percent (while the device is installed in the car). However, when the device is removed, the repeat DWI offender rate often goes back to normal.

Ignition Interlock Laws | Raleigh DWI Lawyer Dewey Brinkley

Call Raleigh DWI Lawyer Dewey Brinkley Today

Ignition interlock devices have a prominent role in reducing drunk driving in North Carolina. Nevertheless, as a professional Raleigh DUI defense attorney, we at Dewey Brinkley Law will thoroughly examine the details of your case, such as how you were stopped, how you were evaluated, and how the DWI charge was documented by law enforcement. Additionally, after a DWI arrest, if getting an ignition interlock device is the best way to reduce the severity of charges, then, based on your interests, we will push for this device.

In any case, as your Raleigh DWI attorney, we will vigorously defend your charges with the goal of getting these charges dropped or dismissed, getting you a not-guilty verdict, or seeking alternative/reduced sentencing. To speak with attorney Dewey Brinkley over a completely free consultation, call our Raleigh law firm today at (919) 832-0307.

DUI Arrests in North Carolina — Raleigh DWI Defense Attorney Dewey Brinkley

As a Raleigh DWI lawyer, we at the Law Office of Dewey Brinkley have vigorously represented many individuals charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI).

DUI Arrests Raleigh NC | DWI Defense Attorney Dewey Brinkley

As such, our Raleigh law firm tunes into various DWI statistics in North Carolina. For instance, according to data compiled late last year by the CDC and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), DUIs were on the rise in 2016. Secondly, according to BackgroundChecks.org, North Carolina is rated as #15 with regards to DWI-related deaths and arrests across the state; this means that there are 14 other states with worse drinking and driving habits.

If you’ve been arrested for DWI in Raleigh or Wake County, don’t become a DWI statistic and call the leading Raleigh DWI lawyer Dewey P. Brinkley today. With extensive knowledge of North Carolina DWI laws, as well as top DWI defense strategies, the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley will carefully listen to your case and investigate the circumstances surrounding the traffic stop, arrest, and alcohol or drug detection procedures. We aim to achieve dropped or dismissed charges, a not guilty resolution, or, if the evidence is truly stacked against you, reduced or alternative sentencing.

Don’t let a DWI arrest take away your freedoms, and fight these charges by calling the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley in Raleigh at (919) 832-0307. Free consultations are available.

DWI Statistics in North Carolina

In 2016, throughout much of Western North Carolina, the number of DWI arrests and alcohol-related accidents decreased. In Buncombe County, specifically, DWI arrests dropped by 25 percent, and in 13 other counties, the number of DWI arrests went down from 2015 to 2016. In general, however, DWI across the state remain at unfortunate heights, and some sobering statistics regarding drunk driving include:

  • Between 2003 and 2012, the number of DWI-related deaths was 4,102
  • Individuals aged between 21 and 34 report the highest number of drunk driving-related deaths at 8.0 for every 100,000 people (2012)
  • In 2016, there were 411 drunk driving related fatalities, constituting 30% of all total traffic deaths, a 13.2% increase from 2015
  • DUI arrests in North Carolina in 2016 hovered around 35,967
  • Almost half of all drivers killed in collisions and tested positive for drugs also had alcohol in their system

Reducing DWI Incidents, Accidents, and Fatalities in North Carolina

In Western North Carolina, the drop in DWIs is attributed to many factors; ride-sharing, such as Uber, is often coined as a substantial contribution to the reduction in DUIs. At the same time, throughout North Carolina, there’s an upward trend in alcohol-related crash activity, and law enforcement is hoping that, in the near future, ride-sharing services that keep impaired driving down will also have an downward effect on alcohol-related crashes and fatalities.

Some other strategies and methods to reduce DWI incidents in North Carolina include, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Sobriety Checkpoints
  • Ignition Interlocks
  • Multi-Component Interventions and Community Mobilization
  • Mass Media Campaigns
  • Administrative License Revocation or Suspension

North Carolina DWI Laws

When residents of Raleigh and Wake County are arrested for a DWI, knowing the statistics has little purpose; instead, it’s wise to consider the various North Carolina DWI laws and how they may affect your case. These North Carolina DWI laws include:

  • Vehicular Homicide — Driving while impaired and proximately causing the death of another constitute both involuntary manslaughter and felony death by vehicle.
  • Sobriety Checkpoints — North Carolina uses sobriety checkpoints that allow law enforcement officers to stop all or predetermined vehicles to check for sobriety of the drivers.
  • Primary Belt Laws — Everyone in a car in North Carolina must buckle up (G.S. 20-135.2A(a)).
  • DUI Felony — Habitual DWI offenders and those committing vehicular manslaughter while DWI can be facing a felony.
  • DUI Child Endangerment — Driving while impaired with a child in the car can be an aggravating factor, and the driver may be facing DWI as well as misdemeanor child abuse.
  • Dram Shop — An injured person can bring a claim against a business or other third party that provided alcohol to the intoxicated person.
  • Administrative License Revocation — The NC DMV can suspend or revoke your license for DWI charges.
  • .08 Per Se Law —  This law makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle at or above .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

How an Experienced Raleigh DWI Lawyer Can Help

If you are arrested for DWI in Raleigh or the Wake County area, it’s critical to contact an experienced and knowledgeable Raleigh DWI lawyer. The potential consequences of a guilty conviction for a DWI are extensive, including jail time, extensive fines, and a criminal record that can haunt you for years down the road.

To get the leading DWI attorney in the Raleigh area, call the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley today at (919) 832-0307.