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Should procedures involved with a DUI charge be questioned?

While driving on North Carolina roads, you give your “implied consent” to a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content in the event of an arrest on the suspicion of impaired or drunk driving. There are certain rules concerning the test to determine your BAC level.

A lot of information has to be digested when you go through the implied consent law in North Carolina, part of which addresses the procedures required of law enforcement officers and analysts. If you believe your arrest was not conducted properly, or the charge is unfounded, these procedures would be a good starting point for investigation by an attorney.

The chemical analyst weighs in

The implied consent law states you give your consent to “chemical analysis” if you are charged with an implied consent offense. In the first place, the word “charged” in this context simply means you have been arrested, but you have not been formally charged. Before that can take place, your BAC level must be determined through testing. The person who conducts the test must either be a law enforcement officer trained in this procedure or a chemical analyst. The latter must be a professional who has a permit from the Department of Health and Human Services to perform this kind of test.

The first duty is to you

Before testing begins, the officer or analyst must provide you with oral and written notice of the following points:

  • You have been charged with an implied consent offense
  • You have the right to refuse testing, but refusal results in the revocation of your driver’s license for one year
  • The test results, or your refusal to comply, is admissible evidence at a trial
  • Your license is revoked for 30 days if your BAC is .08 percent or higher, .04 percent or higher if you drive a commercial vehicle or .01 percent or higher if you are under the age of 21

Your right to an attorney

You are also given the right to call an attorney for advice and to choose a witness who can be present during the test. Remember that an experienced lawyer is familiar with the legal procedures the officer or analyst must follow, and that may have a significant bearing on your case.

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