Powers McCartan, PLLC



North Carolina Alcohol Laws

North Carolina Alcohol Laws
If you or someone you know has recently been arrested for DWI, you’re in the right place. You probably have a million questions about things you thought you’d never have to know, like North Carolina alcohol laws and how they may affect your DWI case. While this information is meant to inform you, it’s best to contact DWI defense attorney Bill Powers of the Law Offices of Powers McCartan so that he can answer the specific questions you have about your case. Bill Powers focuses a substantial amount of his practice in this complex area of law.   

In North Carolina, you can be arrested for driving while impaired if you have a blood or breath alcohol content of .08% or higher. This is one of the three ways to violate the state’s impaired driving statute. You can also be arrested for DWI if an officer believes you exhibit signs of impairment, such as if the officer smells alcohol on you or if you fail the field sobriety tests. If your BAC was .15% or more (quite higher than the state’s legal limit of .08%) or if you refused to take a blood, breath or urine test (violation of the Implied Consent law), you face harsher penalties in court.

It is also illegal to have an open container of alcohol in your vehicle. If you were under 21 and had ANY blood alcohol content that registered on a breath, blood or urine test, you can be arrested for a Provisional Impaired Driving Violation under North Carolina General Statute N.C.G.S. §20-138,3 due to the state’s Zero Tolerance law.

On Sundays, you cannot purchase alcohol beer or wine until after noon. If you want to buy fortified wines such as sherry or port, or are looking to purchase spirits such as vodka, gin or whiskey, they are only sold in facilities operated by the State of North Carolina called Alcohol Beverage Control, or ABC, stores.  ABC stores are open six days a week with limited hours of operation. Spirits and liquors are only sold at state-authorized ABC package stores and properly licensed restaurant and bars.

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