North Carolina General Statutes

§ 20-138.3. Driving by person less than 21 years old after consuming alcohol or drugs.

*(a) Offense. -- It is unlawful for a person less than 21 years old to drive a motor vehicle on a highway or public vehicular area while consuming alcohol or at any time while he has remaining in his body any alcohol or in his blood a controlled substance previously consumed, but a person less than 21 years old does not violate this section if he drives with a controlled substance in his blood which was lawfully obtained and taken in therapeutically appropriate amounts.

*(b) Subject to Implied-Consent Law. -- An offense under this section is an alcohol-related offense subject to the implied-consent provisions of G.S. 20-16.2.

*(c) Punishment; Effect When Impaired Driving Offense Also Charged. -- The offense in this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor. It is not, in any circumstances, a lesser included offense of impaired driving under G.S. 20-138.1, but if a person is convicted under this section and of an offense involving impaired driving arising out of the same transaction, the aggregate punishment imposed by the court may not exceed the maximum applicable to the offense involving impaired driving, and any minimum punishment applicable must be imposed.

*(d) Limited Driving Privilege. -- A person who is convicted of violating subsection (a) of this section and whose drivers license is revoked solely based on that conviction may apply for a limited driving privilege as provided in G.S. 20-179.3. This subsection shall apply only if the person meets both of the following requirements:

*(1)Is 18, 19, or 20 years old on the date of the offense.

*(2)Has not previously been convicted of a violation of this section.

The judge may issue the limited driving privilege only if the person meets the eligibility requirements of G.S. 20-179.3, other than the requirement in G.S. 20-179.3(b)(1)c. G.S. 20-179.3(e) shall not apply. All other terms, conditions, and restrictions provided for in G.S. 20-179.3 shall apply. G.S. 20-179.3, rather than this subsection, governs the issuance of a limited driving privilege to a person who is convicted of violating subsection (a) of this section and of driving while impaired as a result of the same transaction.(1983, c. 435, s. 34; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 852, s. 11; 1993, c. 539, s. 364; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1995, c. 506, s. 6.)