A North Carolina resident physician was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in Morganton on Aug. 26. As a result, the man was suspended from his job.

According to media reports, the 29-year-old defendant was driving on South Sterling Street shortly before 8 p.m. when he tried to beat a red light while crossing onto East Concord Street. Following the turn, he also allegedly swerved into the opposite lane. An officer from the Morganton Department of Public Safety observed his erratic driving and executed a traffic stop.

When questioned, the defendant initially denied consuming any alcohol that night. However, he allegedly later said that he drank two 16-ounce craft beers. He reportedly submitted to two breath tests. The first one indicated a blood alcohol level of .15, and the second one showed level of .12. For reference, the legal limit in North Carolina is .08. He was arrested and taken to the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility.

Once at the facility, he was asked to submit to a third breath test, but he refused. As a result, a judge granted a search warrant for a sample of his blood. He was charged with DWI and a stoplight violation and released on a $1,000 bond. He has also been suspended from his job as a first-year internal medicine resident at Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge.

DWI charges can lead to harsh consequences, including jail time and heavy fines. A drunk driving conviction can also cause a defendant to lose employment and education opportunities. However, a criminal defense attorney could help protect a defendant’s future by working to get the charges reduced or dismissed. For example, it may be possible to challenge the results of a breath or blood test.