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In the fiscal year 2015-2016, local police in Durham arrested and charged 902 individuals with Driving While Impaired and related charges, including Driving After Consuming While Under the Age of 21 (77 cases).  A substantial percentage of those charges occurred on Friday and Saturday nights, when individuals are often driving home after consuming alcohol and the local police are out in full force.

Many of these impaired driving cases begin with a minor traffic infraction, such as speeding, expired registration, or failure to maintain lane control (including normal drifting).  Other DWI cases begin with a violation that immediately suggests impaired driving to the officer, such as failing to burn headlamps (no headlights), or driving the wrong way on a one-way street.  Other Driving While Impaired cases begin because an individual encounters a DWI checkpoint that has been erected somewhere in Durham County, and is forced to submit to testing.

Anyone who drinks alcohol is likely to have driven a vehicle with some alcohol remaining in their bloodstream.  Many individuals who drive home from dinner or a bar believe that they are acting responsibly, and would never imagine that their BAC is above the legal limit of .08 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath — at least according to the breathalyzer used at the Durham Detention Center.

If you’ve been charged with a DWI or related drunk driving offense, the very first step you take should be to hire a competent Durham DWI lawyer who is familiar with the very specific issues that arise in DWI cases.  You should find an attorney who has the experience, knowledge, and skill to evaluate your case and identify potential defenses that an unseasoned attorney may miss.  And you should find an attorney who knows and understands the court process, and the potential consequences to you based on the unique factors in your case, so you’ll be in the best position you can be in when it comes time to resolve your case.


Durham DWI attorney Ben Hiltzheimer is a criminal defense attorney in Durham, North Carolina, who represents individuals charged with DWIs and the full spectrum of misdemeanors and felonies. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation at (919) 899-9404.

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Ben is an experienced trial lawyer who earned his law degree from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He was trained in trial practice at the nation’s preeminent Public Defender agency, the federally funded Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, described by United States Attorney General Eric Holder as “the best public defender office in the country.”

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