Both state and local laws are put in place to protect you from dog bites.
Section 67-12 of the North Carolina General Statutes states:
"No person shall allow his dog over six months old to run at large in the nighttime unaccompanied by the owner or by some member of the owner's family, or some other person by the owner's permission. Any person intentionally, knowingly, and willfully violating this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, and shall also be liable in damages to any person injured or suffering loss to his property or chattels."
Local communities also create rules such as leash and vaccination laws.
Click here for more information.