A new law effective Friday will toughen penalties for drinking and driving in North Carolina.
Legislation makes a total of 36 changes in the state's law governing drunken driving. One change is that every DWI case goes into a database that shows the person and their alcohol content and the disposition of their case.
Changes were designed to limit backroom deals that have given offenders lighter sentences.
The law changes give officers more freedom to conduct checkpoints. A person who hurts someone while driving drunk also could face a felony conviction.
The current law says it's illegal for someone under 21 to possess alcohol but the changes make it unlawful for them to drink it.