Subscribe by Email

Your email:

Follow Me

The Tetterton Law Firm, PLLC - Knowledgeable and Effective

Tetterton Law Firm Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

On The Road On The Water, Don't Drink And Drive


RALEIGH, N.C. (May 19, 2011) – The Wildlife Resources Commission and the State Highway Patrol are teaming up for a safer North Carolina this summer, with a reminder that whether you are on the road or on the water, drinking and driving can be deadly. North Carolina sets the same limits for intoxication while operating a boat as it does for operating a motor vehicle, at .08 blood alcohol concentration. The state sees on average one-in-three alcohol related traffic deaths and recreational boating deaths every year. A new “On the Road or On the Water” campaign combines the efforts of “Booze It & Lose It” for highways and “Boat Safe, Boat Sober” for waterways. Officers will concentrate on impaired drivers – no matter what they drive – through awareness and enforcement in all North Carolina counties. Joining the campaign are the Alcohol Law Enforcement division, local police and sheriff’s departments and Forensic Tests for Alcohol branch, which is providing six mobile breath-alcohol testing units. Each mobile unit is equipped with alcohol screening devices, computers and communication work stations, as well as a magistrate office and other necessary equipment and supplies for processing impaired suspects. The ALE division will stress that the “On the Road, On the Water” message can serve as a deterrent to under-age drinking. It is illegal to sell alcohol without a permit, to sell to anyone younger than 21, to have an open container of alcohol in a car, or to sell wine, beer or liquor to anyone who is intoxicated. ALE special agents enforce these and many other laws involving the sale, purchase, transportation, manufacture, consumption, and possession of alcoholic beverages in the state. The state chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving also will help promote and support the campaign through communication and education. Drinking and boating has an additional consideration. Wind and waves, combined with heat, glare, motor noise and vibrations can create a condition known as boater fatigue, which accelerates impairment and affects coordination, judgment and reaction time that can magnify the effects of alcohol in some individuals. North Carolina allows a boat operator to be charged if appreciably impaired. For more information on boating safety, regulations and title and registration, go to

DWI Offenders & Substance Abuse Assessments & Treatment


In some cases, a person charged with a DWI is subject to a substance abuse assessment and treatment.  When any person is charged with a DWI, their license is automatically revoked for a 30 day period.  When a person is charged with a DWI under G.S. 20:17.6, that person must adhere to a substance abuse assessment and complete recommended treatment before their license can be reinstated.  This applies to a person whose license has been revoked upon conviction of the following offenses:

  • driving while impaired pursuant to G.S. 20-138.1
  • commercial driving while impaired pursuant to G.S. 20-138.2
  • driving while less than 21 after consuming alcohol or drugs in violation of G.S. 20-138.3
  • driving a school bus, school activity bus, or child care vehicle after consuming alcohol under G.S. 20-138.2B
  • a second or subsequent conviction of driving a commercial motor vehicle after consuming alcohol under G.S. 20-138.2A

The revoked period is extended in these cases pending completion of assessment and treatment, at which point the DMV is required to receive proof of certificate of completion before restoring a persons drivers license.
Assessments must be completed by facilities authorized by the N.C. Department of Heath and Human Services.  Walter B. Jones ADATC, is the facility that services Carteret County.  Assessments involve a face-to-face clinical interview, administration of an approved standardized test to determine chemical dependency, review of persons driving record & review of persons blood alcohol concentration at time of offense.   Following the assessment, a level of service to be completed is recommended by the facility.  Levels of treatment vary from 16-hours of drug and alcohol education traffic school to inpatient treatment.

DWI Amendment


The General Assembly passed an amendment to General Statute 20-179 (c) subdivision (4), which requires DWI sentencing be a Level One punishment if a person receives a DWI/DUI while driving with a child less than eighteen years of age, a person with the mental development of a child less than eighteen years of age, or a person with a physical disability that prevents them from exiting the vehicle unaided. Subdivision (4) is held as a Grossly Aggravating Factor and a judge is to impose a Level One punishment.  A defendant subject to Level One punishment may be fined up to four thousand dollars ($4,000) and shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment that includes a minimum term of not less than 30 days and a maximum term of not more than 24 months. The term of imprisonment may be suspended only if a condition of special probation is imposed to require the defendant to serve a term of imprisonment of at least 30 days. If the defendant is placed on probation, the judge shall impose a requirement that the defendant obtain a substance abuse assessment and the education or treatment required by G.S. 20-17.6 for the restoration of a drivers license and as a condition of probation. The judge may impose any other lawful condition of probation.

The grossly aggravating factors of a DWI in North Carolina present the most serious of aggravating circumstances involved in a DWI as it relates to punishment and are as follows:

  • Prior DWI Conviction Within 7 Years
  • DWI While License is Suspended for a Previous DWI
  • Serious Injury to Another Person While DWI
  • Child Under 18 in Vehicle While DWI, a person with the mental development of a child less than 18 or a person with a physical disability that prevents them from exiting the vehicle unaided
  • DWI Amendment

Underage Violation Charges


ALE Agents Charge 202 in Greenville, Mostly Underage Violations

from the NC Crime Control News Release

RALEIGH – North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement agents and Pitt County Alcoholic Beverage Control officers cited or arrested 202 people on 246 charges mostly involving underage drinking during a special operation last week in Greenville. Agents found alcohol violations at a residence and a business that were selling alcohol illegally and detected violations at three ABC licensed establishments. About 11:30 p.m. on April 14, ALE agents and ABC officers executed a search warrant at 1209 Forbes St., Greenville, and charged four residents: James Reeves Sasser, 19; Jonathan Lyle Colbert, 19; Sean Veneziano, 20; and Jordan Butler, 20. They were charged with aiding and abetting underage in obtaining malt beverages and spirituous liquor, selling alcohol without first obtaining the applicable ABC permits and revenue licenses, and underage possession of malt beverages. Veneziano and Butler were also charged with possession for sale of alcohol without first obtaining the applicable ABC permits and revenue licenses. On April 16, ALE agents and ABC officers executed a search warrant at a business located at 807 Dickinson Ave., Greenville. Grossie Smith Jackson was charged with selling and possession for sale alcoholic beverages without first obtaining the applicable ABC permits and revenue licenses. In addition, charges were made at three Greenville nightclubs on ABC violations of selling alcohol to persons less than 21 years of age. The clubs include Rehab Lounge at 218 East 5th St., Still Life at 511 Cotanche St. and Rumors at 417 Cotanche St. The following arrests or citations were made during the operation:

9 Give alcohol to underage persons
3 Being over 21 years of age, aid or abet an underage person in possession of alcohol
11 Being less than 21 years of age, aid or abet an underage person in purchase of alcohol
38 Possession of alcohol by a 19/20 year old
37 Possession of alcohol by underage person
7 Purchase alcohol by underage person
2 Sales of alcohol to underage person
1 Being underage attempt to purchase alcohol
65 Underage consumption of alcohol
1 Consume on an off premise location
3 Unlawful possession of spirituous liquor
5 Sell alcohol without the appropriate ABC permits and revenue licenses
3 Possess for sale alcohol without the appropriate ABC permits and revenue licenses
1 Display a fictitious identification
6 Possession of fictitious identification
25 Use of a fictitious identification to purchase alcohol and/or enter a place where alcohol is sold/consumed
2 Drive after consuming alcohol with open container
5 Drive with open container of alcohol in passenger area
1 Transport spirituous liquor with a broken seal
2 Expired registration
1 No operator's license
1 Vehicle inspection violation
7 Misdemeanor possession of marijuana
6 Possession of drug paraphernalia
1 Assault on a government official
1 Resist, delay and obstruct
1 Damage to personal property
1 Operate a vehicle with an open container

ALE is a division of the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety. Its agents have authority to arrest and take investigatory action for any criminal offense. Their primary responsibility is the enforcement of the Alcohol Beverage Control laws and drug laws.

Contact: Special Agent in Charge Diane Chapin Phone: (252) 514-4720

All Posts