Alcohol addiction and alcoholism are an unfortunate reality for many communities in North Carolina and many individuals in the state struggle with this problem. The need for alcohol rehab and alcohol treatment in the area has never been greater.

Alcohol treatment and alcohol rehabilitation in North Carolina is a way out of the vicious cycle of addiction for someone battling an addiction to alcohol. Alcohol treatment and alcohol rehab facilities in North Carolina are equipped with the tools and knowledgeable staff who know what it takes to overcome any addiction. Individuals who take that step to get in an alcohol rehab in North Carolina can take advantage of the counseling and other services offered in treatment to discover the causes of their addiction. The knowledge and abilities gained in rehab will help prevent relapse and ensure the individual is able to resolve problems instead of trying to numb them with alcohol.

Long-term regular use of alcohol makes individuals physically dependant to it. This dependence is what causes physical withdrawal when they suddenly quit drinking alcohol. Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the severity of the individual's addiction to alcohol, and can be extremely severe, sometimes deadly. This is a prime reason individuals find it so hard to stop drinking in the first place. The withdrawal process can be handled safely with care and support from an alcohol rehab facility in North Carolina.

There are a plethora of alcohol treatment and rehabilitation options available in North Carolina. You can choose from Long-term Alcohol Rehab Programs, Outpatient Alcohol Rehabs, Short-term Alcohol Treatment Centers, Inpatient Alcohol Rehabilitation Facilities, support group meetings, alcohol counseling, halfway houses and sober living.

It is your choice to end the cycle of alcohol addiction or let it continue to destroy your life. Find alcohol treatment and rehabilitation in North Carolina, you'll be glad you did.


North Carolina alcohol related information and statistics are provided by the US Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Conference of State Legislatures, 2004. In North Carolina, the percentage of traffic fatalities that were alcohol related was at the highest level in 1982, with 63%. The percentage has dropped significantly, reaching the lowest levels in 2006, with 31%. The actual number of alcohol-related deaths was also highest in 1982, with 827. In the most recent year of stats, out of all traffic fatalities, 30% involved a blood alcohol concentration at or above the level considered legally intoxicated - .08%.

Today, all 50 states in the US now apply two statutory offenses to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The first (and original) offense is known either as driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated/impaired (DWI), or operating while intoxicated/impaired (OWI). This is based upon a police officer's observations (driving behavior, slurred speech, the results of a roadside sobriety test, etc.) The second offense is called "illegal per se", which is driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher. Since 2002 it has been illegal in all 50 states to drive with a BAC that is 0.08% or higher.

The table below shows the total number of traffic fatalities (Tot) for the North Carolina, alcohol related fatalities (Alc-Rel) and fatalities in crashes where the highest BAC in the crash was 0.08 or above (0.08+). It is important to note that the North Carolina drunk driving statistics, as shown below, include data from individuals who were in an alcohol-related crash, but not driving a motor vehicle at the time. The U.S. Department of Transportation defines alcohol-related deaths as "fatalities that occur in crashes where at least one driver or non-occupant (pedestrian or bicyclist) involved in the crash has a positive Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) value." The fatality rates shown below refer to the number of people killed in all traffic accidents and, separately, in alcohol related traffic accidents, per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.

Year

Fatalities

Tot

Alc-Rel

%

0.08+

%

1982

1,303

827

63

743

57

1983

1,234

672

54

609

49

1984

1,450

750

52

672

46

1985

1,482

686

46

605

41

1986

1,647

806

49

711

43

1987

1,584

764

48

682

43

1988

1,573

709

45

633

40

1989

1,471

621

42

556

38

1990

1,385

644

46

575

42

1991

1,369

600

44

547

40

1992

1,265

567

45

502

40

1993

1,389

529

38

459

33

1994

1,431

535

37

473

33

1995

1,448

501

35

443

31

1996

1,494

546

37

471

32

1997

1,483

545

37

472

32

1998

1,596

581

36

506

32

1999

1,505

573

38

491

33

2000

1,557

614

39

533

34

2001

1,530

536

35

458

30

2002

1,576

592

38

527

33

2003

1,531

554

36

474

31

2004

1,557

553

35

496

32

2005

1,534

549

36

484

32

2006

1,558

490

31

420

27

2007

1,675

570

34

487

29

2008

1,433

500

35

423

30



2003-2004 North Carolina Alcohol Related Issue:

Percentage %

Ranking

Alcohol Abuse or Dependence

5.97%

[50th of 51]

Alcohol consumption > Binge drinkers

9.5%

[50th of 52]

Alcohol consumption > Casual drinkers

41.9%

[44th of 52]

Alcohol consumption > Heavy drinkers

3%

[49th of 52]

Alcohol related traffic fatalities

553

[7th of 51]

Alcohol related traffic fatalities (per capita)

0.637 per 10,000 people

[20th of 51]

Alcohol related traffic fatalities, as a percentage

35%

[40th of 51]

Alcohol Use in the Past Month

40.8%

[44th of 51]

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2003-2004, Office of Applied Studies 2003-2004 and the MADD Official Website statistics 2004

Criminal status of DUI laws in North Carolina

When is a driver considered to be legally drunk in North Carolina?

  • Non-commercial drivers in North Carolina age 21+ are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .08 or more.
  • Drivers of commercial vehicles in North Carolina are legally drunk when their blood alcohol concentration is .04 percent or greater. In North Carolina, school bus drivers are commercial drivers.
  • Drivers under 21 are legally drunk when their blood alcohol level is .01 or more.

Sentencing Procedures for DWI in North Carolina

After a person is convicted of driving while impaired (DWI) in North Carolina, a judge is required to hold a sentencing hearing to determine whether there are any aggravating or mitigating factors that might affect the sentence to be imposed.

At the sentencing hearing, the judge must first determine whether there are any "grossly aggravating" factors in the case. Grossly aggravating factors include:

  • A prior DWI conviction in North Carolina within seven years of the current offense;
  • Commission of the offense while the offender's driver's license was revoked for a previous DWI;
  • Causing serious injury to another person because of the offender's impairment; and
  • Commission of the offense while a child under 16 was in the vehicle.

If the judge in North Carolina finds that two or more grossly aggravating factors apply, the judge must impose Level One punishment. If the judge finds that one aggravating factor applies, the judge must impose Level Two punishment.

If there are no grossly aggravating factors in the case, the judge must weigh all "aggravating" and "mitigating" factors. Aggravating factors include:

  • Gross impairment of the offender's faculties while driving with a BAC of .16 or more;
  • Especially reckless or dangerous driving;
  • Negligent driving that led to a reportable accident;
  • Driving while the offender's license was revoked;
  • Speeding while fleeing or attempting to elude apprehension;
  • Speeding by at least 30 miles per hour over the legal limit;
  • Passing a stopped school bus; and
  • Any other factor that aggravates the seriousness of the offense.

After the judge in North Carolina determines aggravating factors, he or she must then weigh “mitigating” factors. Mitigating factors include:

  • Slight impairment with a BAC that did not exceed .09;
  • Driving at the time of the offense that was safe and lawful, except for the impairment;
  • A safe driving record;
  • The offender's voluntary submission to a mental health facility for assessment after being charged with DWI and, if recommended by the facility, the offender's voluntary participation in the recommended treatment; and
  • Any other factor that mitigates the seriousness of the offense.

If the judge in North Carolina determines that the aggravating factors substantially outweigh any mitigating factors, the offender is subject to Level Three punishment. If the judge determines that there are no aggravating or mitigating factors or that the aggravating factors are substantially counterbalanced by the mitigating factors, the offender is subject to Level Four punishment. If the mitigating factors substantially outweigh any aggravating factors, the offender is subject to Level Five punishment.

Levels of Punishment

  • Level One Punishment. A Level One offender faces 30 days to 24 months in prison and may also be fined up to $4,000.
  • Level Two Punishment. A Level Two offender faces seven days to 12 months in prison and may also be fined up to $2,000.
  • Level Three Punishment. A Level Three offender faces 72 hours to six months in prison and may also be fined up to $1,000.
  • Level Four Punishment. A Level Four offender faces 48 hours to 120 days in prison and may also be fined up to $500.
  • Level Five Punishment. A Level Five offender faces 24 hours to 60 days in prison and may also be fined up to $200.

Driver's License Revocation Periods

The circumstances surrounding the conviction, including points assessed against the offender's driving record, will determine the license revocation period.

Ignition Interlock

An offender whose license was revoked because of a DWI in North Carolina conviction where the offender had a BAC of .16 or more or an offender had been convicted of a previous DWI within seven years of the current offense will be required to use an ignition interlock system. If the original revocation period was one year, the offender is required to use the system for one year from the date that his or her license is restored. If the original revocation period was four years, the offender is required to use the system for three years from the date that his or her license is restored. If the original revocation was a permanent revocation and the permanent revocation was lifted, the offender will be required to use an ignition interlock system for seven years from the date of restoration.

Commercial Drivers

In addition to other penalties associated with North Carolina's DWI laws, a commercial driver who is convicted of DWI while operating any vehicle will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for one year. If, however, however, the offender was driving a commercial vehicle and transporting hazardous materials at the time, the disqualification period is three years. If a commercial driver is convicted of a second DWI while operating any vehicle, the offender will be disqualified from driving a commercial vehicle for life with the possibility of reinstatement after 10 years. If, however, the offender is convicted of driving a commercial vehicle while impaired for a third time, the disqualification period is for life without the possibility of reinstatement after 10 years.

School Bus, School Activity Bus, or Child Care Vehicle Operators

In addition to other penalties associated with North Carolina's DWI and commercial vehicle DWI laws, a person who operates a school bus, school activity bus, or child care vehicle after consuming alcohol or if the person drives while consuming alcohol or while alcohol remains in the person's body faces one to 10 days of community punishment and a $100 fine.

Penalties for Underage DWI

Underage DWI in North Carolina is a Class 2 misdemeanor. A first offense is punishable by one to 30 days of community punishment, and the offender may also be required to pay a fine of up to $1,000. Second, third, fourth, and fifth offenses are punishable by one to 45 days of community, intermediate, or active punishment. A judge may, however, punish the underage offender under the DWI laws applicable to adult offenders.

What is North Carolina's Dram Shop Statute?

Under this law, a person who is injured because of the actions of an impaired driver under 21 can file suit for damages against the drinking establishment that served the minor if the sale was negligent; if the minor's consumption of alcohol caused or contributed to the minor's impairment; and if the injury was caused by the minor's negligent operation of a vehicle while the minor was impaired. Under this statute, evidence of negligence includes the bar's failure to request identification from the minor. This law prohibits the minor driver and the person who served the underage minor from filing a claim for damages. The total amount of damages that may be awarded to all injured parties is $500,000. North Carolina permits an injured party to bring a claim under its common law, but prohibits a double recovery for the same injury under this statute.

Criminal Penalties for Selling or Providing Liquor to a Person Under 21

In North Carolina, it is illegal for a person to sell or provide alcohol to a person under 21. A first offense subjects the offender to one to 45 days of community punishment and a fine to be determined by a judge. A second, third, fourth, or fifth violation subjects the offender to one to 45 days of active punishment, which may include incarceration. At a minimum, the law requires first-time offenders to pay a fine of at least $250 and complete at least 25 hours of community service. If a person has a previous conviction in the four years preceding the date of the current offense, the offender must pay a fine of at least $500 and complete at least 150 hours of community service.

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  • Facts
  • When an individual that has been drinking heavily is experiencing a blackout, they can participate in a significant even but later have absolutely no recollection of what has occurred.
  • Naltrexone is a medicine that reduces the possibility of relapse in alcohol dependent patients who are in abstinence-based treatment; recently a sustained release form of the drug is being tested in clinical trials. One single dose lasts about a month; some experts believe that this form of Naltrexone will increase compliance in patients who might forget to take a tablet every day.
  • People infected with HIV are nearly twice as likely to use alcohol than people in the general population.
  • Alcohol increases estrogen levels. Birth control pills or other medicine with estrogen increase intoxication.