Growth of Charlotte Means More DWI Charges
There’s no way not to notice. Charlotte and Mecklenburg County is growing. And growing fast. New construction sites like the one in the picture are everywhere. There are new office buildings, high rise apartments and condominiums, and new homes and neighborhoods being built. We have not experienced this level of growth in years. New companies and families are moving here in droves attracted to our business friendly policies and awesome weather and comparatively low taxes. People are discovering now what we have know all along. The new growth is certainly great but also has other consequences. In addition to more people and new opportunities, there will also be more DUI arrests and charges.
While in court and whenever I can talk with local Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers, I often ask what they see and how Charlotte is changing from their perspective. They all say the same thing. The city is growing, and more drivers are driving while impaired. The number of suspicion of DWI stops is on the rise as is the times officers smell alcohol on other stops where there is initially no concern about DUI. Many times vehicles are stopped for expired tags or brake lights out. Other stops routinely involve speeding or going too fast for conditions. None of these circumstances are indicators of drunk driving according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which publishes the manual on DWI Investigation and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. However, once the officer smells alcohol and/or observes impairment clues, the otherwise routine police stop becomes an investigation into whether the driver is impaired and unsafe to drive. More DUI arrests are being made, and that is creating a larger backlog of DWI cases in the court system. Prosecutors at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse are also seeing the effects of more DUI arrests and are reporting longer waiting times for those defendants who wish to take their cases to trial.
Charlotte DWI attorney Robert J. Reeves is also seeing the same trend. While many criminal defense firms offer limited after hours access, the DUI lawyers of Reeves Aiken Hightower & Burns LLC provide their direct emails and mobile phone numbers to clients. As a result, people arrested and charged can get answers and options even on the weekends. Mr. Reeves bases his opinion that there are clearly more DUI arrests on the number of calls he takes between Friday night and Monday morning. For obvious reasons, more DUI arrests occur on the weekends while people are out on the town at dinner, bars, and sports games. The police are also out in force and are specifically focused on DWI stops. DUI checkpoints are also becoming more prevalent as well.
So what is the message to be learned? Enjoy Charlotte. Enjoy living the new life you have moved here to experience. But be careful and don’t take chances. Use a designated driver. Call a friend or cab. But don’t get behind the wheel if you have been drinking. Any scent of alcohol if stopped by the police can change your life in an instant. If you do get arrested with a NC DWI, know we are here to help you and available when you need us. Call us today for more information about your options.