I am The Law Firm of Brent D. Ratchford, a Gastonia drunk driving defense attorney who has more than 25 years of experience representing individuals throughout Gaston County. I also have experience defending numerous out-of-state clients who were charged with driving while impaired (DWI) in North Carolina.
I am very familiar with the Intoxilyzer 5000, our state’s version of the Breathalyzer machine. You can also rely on me to investigate every aspect of your traffic stop to see if the police made any mistakes.
Frequently, law enforcement in North Carolina will set up a checkpoint and stop every car that comes through. The U.S. Constitution does not favor such checkpoints — they are presumed to be unconstitutional — but the state still uses them as a way to catch drunk drivers.
If you were stopped at a checkpoint or pulled over by the police, the most important thing you can do is to say nothing. Do not try to explain your situation or argue with the officer. Anything you say can and will be used against you. Too many people talk themselves into a charge, so don’t be one of them. Don’t complete any roadside physical dexterity test either. These tests are used to obtain evidence against you, not for you. Instead, exercise your right to call a lawyer and do not answer questions. The less said, the better.
With more than 25 years of criminal defense and traffic law experience, I have represented many repeat DWI offenders in Gastonia, NC. I am also very familiar with the law and keep up to date with the constant changes.
One recent change was the introduction of Laura’s Law, which was designed for repeat DWI offenders. Laura’s Law changed the maximum amount of jail time from two years to three years. It also changed the maximum fine from $1,000 to $10,000.