If a law enforcement officer arrests you for having a blood alcohol concentration above North Carolina’s 0.08% legal limit, you face serious criminal consequences, such as jail time, fines and fees. Your employment and educational prospects may also be on the line once you have a criminal record.

Typically, there are a variety of ways to defend yourself against a DWI charge. You should not, however, let misinformation lead you astray. Here are three common North Carolina DWI myths you should not believe.

  1. You must be driving

Because state law prevents motorists from driving while impaired, you may believe you must be driving a vehicle to be guilty of a DWI offense. That is not the case, however. On the contrary, if you have physical control of a vehicle and have a BAC over the legal limit, you are vulnerable to DWI charges. For example, if you are sitting in your parked car with the keys in the ignition, you may be in trouble.

  1. You must be in a car

North Carolina law has an expansive definition of “vehicle.” Therefore, you do not have to be in a car, truck or SUV to face a possible DWI arrest. Even riding a bicycle while intoxicated may expose you to legal consequences.

  1. You must trust a breath test

If an officer suspects you are driving drunk, he or she may ask you to breathe into a testing device. Regrettably, these devices do not always produce reliable results. In fact, any of the following may interfere with a device’s accuracy:

  • Improper calibration, storage or administration
  • Certain medical conditions, such as acid reflux or diabetes
  • Some medications, such as inhaled albuterol sulfate

While there usually is nothing wrong with enjoying beer, wine or liquor, a DWI arrest may upend your life. Arming yourself with the correct information, though, may help you avoid the serious consequences that often accompany a DWI conviction.