Can I be charged with DWI if I was intoxicated while I was a supervising driver for a teen driver?

Teen Driver With Her Intoxicated Father as a PassengerTechnically, you cannot be charged with DWI if you are intoxicated and supervising a young driver. However, you could be arrested for impaired supervision, which is very similar to a DWI offense and carries similar penalties under North Carolina law.

What Is Impaired Supervision?

N.C.G.S. 20-12.1 makes it against the law for an individual to serve as a supervising driver or instructor while intoxicated. The offense of impaired supervision can be committed by acting as a supervising driver for a teen driver under one of the following circumstances:

  • Being under the influence of an impairing substance
  • Having consumed enough alcohol that the individual’s blood alcohol content is 0.08 percent or higher

Who Is Permitted to Be a Supervising Driver?

Before a teen obtains a driver’s license, they must be issued a learner’s permit and are only permitted to operate a vehicle while a supervising driver is in the vehicle beside them. In order to be considered a supervising driver, the person must be a parent, grandparent, or guardian of the young driver or a responsible person who is approved to act as a supervising driver by the teen’s parent or guardian.

What Are the Penalties for Impaired Supervision?

Impaired supervision is an implied consent offense and is charged as a Class 2 misdemeanor. If convicted, a person can be sentenced to up to 60 days in jail, a fine, and court costs. In addition, their driver’s license would be immediately suspended at the time of their arrest as it would be if they were the intoxicated driver and arrested for DWI.

Were you charged with DWI or impaired supervision in Mecklenburg County? Call our Charlotte office to schedule a free consultation with our experienced DWI lawyers to learn how we can help you mount an aggressive defense strategy that could result in the charges against you being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.


Our Approach To DWI Cases

Simply being charged with DWI in North Carolina often results in your driver’s license being revoked for a minimum of 30 days. However, we can typically get your driving privileges reinstated almost immediately. We do this by either, first, challenging this civil license revocation, or second, getting you a limited driving privilege.
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Whether you realize it or not, a considerable amount of evidence exists regarding your DWI charge, much of which is vital to an effective defense of your case. We will review your court file, subpoena necessary documents, videos, and notes, and file the appropriate pretrial motions in a timely manner.
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As former prosecutors, we are aware of all the potential defenses that may be available to you. We do not automatically assume you intend to plead guilty and face the harsh consequences associated with a DWI conviction. We pledge we will examine every possible defense and take your case to trial if it is in your best interest.
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While it’s our goal to win every DWI case we have, it’s simply not possible for any attorney to win every time. If you are ultimately convicted of DWI, we will help you take every step possible to reduce the potential penalties, such as avoiding jail time, keeping you driving, reducing monetary costs, and more.
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