History and Statistics

Before 1999, North Carolina already had some of the strictest drinking and driving statutes ever adopted in the United States. The Governor's DWI Initiative has made those regulations even tougher.

In December, 1998, the cars of repeat offenders are being seized and sold with the money given to the local school system. In excess of 8,000 vehicles have been seized since then. Starting in the year 2000 any person who is convicted of DWI and has their drivers license reinstated will not be able to drink and drive. Instead of an alcohol concentration of 0.08, these drivers will lose their license if they have limits of 0.00 to 0.04, depending upon their driving record and if they were charged and convicted after 1 July 2001. An ignition interlock system where the car will not start if the driver has been drinking will be required for some repeat offenders. The repeat offenders are being targeted and for good reason.

In 1998, 469 people died in alcohol-related crashes on North Carolina highways. Another 10,629 were injured. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol arrested nearly 40,000 people for driving while impaired (DWI) in 1998 and more than 43,000 the year before that. The combined DWI arrests for all law enforcement agencies in North Carolina totaled nearly 80,000 for each of those two years, respectively. Though they pale in comparison to the human loss, the financial costs in lawyer fees, court costs, fines, increased insurance rates, and the like to a person convicted of DWI are also great. They range from $6,000 to $8,000 over three years. The bottom line: Never drive after drinking any amount of alcohol!