State v. Godwin, 369 N.C. 604 (Jun. 9, 2017)

In this DWI case, the trial court did not err by denying the defendant’s request for a special jury instruction explaining that results of a chemical breath test are not conclusive evidence of impairment. Following the pattern jury instructions for DWI, the trial court explained to the jury that impairment could be proved by an alcohol concentration of .08 or more and that a chemical analysis was “deemed sufficient evidence to prove a person’s alcohol concentration.” The trial court also inform the jury that they were the sole judges of the credibility of each witness and the weight to be given to each witness’s testimony. This statement signaled to the jury that it was free to analyze the weight and effect of the breathalyzer evidence, along with all the evidence presented at trial. Therefore, the standard jury instruction on credibility was sufficient and the trial court adequately conveyed the substance of the defendant’s request instructions to the jury.