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Intoxication and the law

While most people know that it is illegal to drive intoxicated in North Carolina, not everybody knows what legally constitutes intoxication under North Carolina law. Here is a breakdown of what constitutes driving impaired under state law and how experts recommend that a person can tell if he or she has consumed too much alcohol to legally drive. 

The North Carolina Department of Public Safety states that the blood alcohol level needed to be considered intoxicated is 0.08 percent. North Carolina has some of the toughest laws in the U.S. when it comes to driving while intoxicated. A person who is pulled over driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher is subject to misdemeanor charges and jail time, and fines of up to $4,000. A repeat offender may face felony charges, and the state can seize and sell his car to prevent him from driving while intoxicated again.

As reported by Business Insider, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has created charts to help people determine when they have had too much alcohol to legally drive. Intoxication is based largely on the weight of a person and the amount of alcohol he or she has consumed. Women tend to have a lower tolerance for alcohol than men, so fewer drinks can leave them intoxicated. The TABC calculates one drink as one shot (approximately 1.5 ounces) of 80 proof liquor, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or 12 ounces of beer. A 160-pound man can look at the charts and determine that if he has more than 3 drinks in a one hour period, he will likely have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. A 140-pound woman may become intoxicated after 2 drinks in one hour.

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