DWI vs Driving after Consuming in NC
The "Driving after Consuming" charge only applies to those under age 21, and does not require any actual impairment due to alcohol. In fact any BAC above 0.01 can result in the charge. Someone under age 21 can be charged with both DWI and driving after consuming if they were in fact impaired. A DWI charge is basically automatic for a BAC of 0.08 or above. Each charge for first time offenders is a misdemeanor with similar consequences despite DWI having its own special sentencing guidelines.
Although currently illegal, North Carolina seems to propose legislation to make weed legal on an annual basis. The latest attempt is NC Senate Bill 58 that would decriminalize possession of up to 3 ounces of marijuana for personal use. Those convicted in the past would even be eligible to go back and have their record expunged. WSOC TV 9 in Charlotte recently did an interview with NC House Bill 766 legislature sponsors who spoke of the need to unclog the jails with people charged with possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Is Marijuana legal under federal law?
Even though several states including Washington. DC have decriminalized marijuana in some capacity it is still technically illegal under federal law. At the moment the federal government appears to see the writing on the wall and is simply choosing to not interfere with states that have chosen to decriminalize personal use. Because of long standing federal law that could be enforced at any moment many banks refuse to work with pot dispensaries and hence most operate as a cash only business. In fact there is actually bipartisan support for the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act which would essentially allow states to decide the fact of marijuana within their borders. Both President Trump and Attorney General William Barr have signaled support for the legislation. Passage of this may embolden many states to act that were hesitant to openly defy federal law.
What are the expected benefits of the raise the age law?
As part of the same initiative, House Bill 280, which goes into effect on December, 1 2019, raises the minimum age to be charged as an adult to age 18 for most non-violent offenses. North Carolina is one of the last holdouts that currently charges 16 year old children as adults for any and all criminal offenses.
New Expunction law changes in NC effective December 2017
Before undertaking any license restoration on your own it is advisable to at least speak with an attorney to determine the best path to success as paying off old tickets can often restart the 3 year window to get a DMV hearing. The last thing anyone you need is to risk going to jail for driving while license revoked simply because you had no other way to get to work.