DWI/DUI - Drunk Driving Laws And Attorneys In North Carolina
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NORTH CAROLINA DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
If an officer charges you with driving while impaired (DWI) in the state of
North Carolina, you will be asked to take a chemical test of your breath
or blood. Refusal to perform any required test will result in the
immediate revocation of your driver license for at least 30 days and an
additional, minimum of a 12 month license suspension by the DMV. In
certain instances, after six months of the willful refusal revocation has
elapsed, the judge may issue a limited driving privilege.
If your intoxication test shows an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or
more (0.04 or more, if you are driving a commercial motor vehicle), your
driving privilege will be revoked immediately for a minimum of 30 days.
Additionally, the results of your chemical test or the fact that you refused
to take the test will be admissible as evidence in court.
Penalties And Court Fine For A DWI In North Carolina are as follows:
Note: Different levels of severity of punishment will be based on the
severity of the offense.
If you are convicted of DWI while your license is under suspension for an
earlier DWI conviction, the court may order your vehicle seized and sold.
If a driver who is less than 21 years old is convicted for an offense of
driving with any amount of alcohol or drugs in his/her body, his/her
license will be suspended for one year.
A lifetime suspension of your drivers license if you commit
manslaughter while under the influence of an impairing substance.
First Offense -
a) Mandatory revocation of your driver license for a period of one year.
b) Minimum Punishment - Fine up to $100 and not less than 24 hours
imprisonment; 24 hours of community service; 30 days without a limited
driving privilege or any combination of these.
c) Maximum Punishment - Fine up to $2,000 and not less than 14 days
or more than 24 months imprisonment.
Second Offense -
a) Mandatory driver license revocation for a period of four years if
convicted within three years of first offense.
b) Minimum Punishment - Fine up to $1,000 and not less than seven
days or more than 12 months imprisonment.
c) Maximum Punishment - (same as for first conviction) A limited driving
privilege will not be issued if the second offense occurs within seven
years of the first conviction.
Third Offense -
a) Mandatory, permanent driver license revocation if at least one of the
prior convictions occurred within past five years.
b) Minimum/Maximum Punishment - Fine up to $2,000 and not less than
c) 14 days or more than 24 months imprisonment.
Fourth Offense -
a) Mandatory permanent driver license revocation. The fourth conviction
is considered a felony if the three prior DWI convictions occurred within
the past seven years.
b) Minimum Punishment - One year imprisonment.
c) Maximum Punishment - Three years imprisonment and a fine.
Alcohol Concentration Restrictions:
Effective July 1, 2000, an alcohol concentration restriction will be
required when a license is restored following a suspension for DWI or
when a Limited Driving Privilege is issued following a DWI conviction.
On the first restoration, the alcohol concentration restriction will be 0.04.
On a second or subsequent restoration, the alcohol concentration
restriction will be 0.00. Additionally, if you are convicted of Driving While
Impaired in a commercial motor vehicle, driving after consuming alcohol
or drugs while under the age of 21 or felony death by vehicle the alcohol
concentration restriction will be 0.00.
Furthermore, a conviction of Driving While Impaired with a Blood Alcohol
Concentration of 0.16 or more, or another conviction within the past
seven years, will require an ignition interlock device to be installed on
Other Requirements After A DWI Conviction:
a) Persons with lower BACs will have to attend alcohol safety schools;
and to obtain a substance abuse assessment prior to the reinstatement
of driving privileges.
b) Repeat DWI offenders or persons with high blood/alcohol contents
(BACs) may have to be checked to see if they might have an alcohol
c) Persons who are convicted of DWI for the second time will have to
serve a jail sentence.
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