A North Carolina DWI charge carries with it certain consequences. Additionally, a North Carolina DWI Conviction carries with it many more consequences which are hard for many people to handle. As a DWI Lawyer Raleigh and DWI Lawyer Durham, I have counseled many clients on what to expect as a result of their DWI charge as well as what could happen should they convicted. One common question I get, which normally takes precedent over most other concerns, is whether they will be able to drive. In North Carolina, there are several things regarding a DWI stop and/or conviction which can impact the Driver's ability to continue to drive. This article will explore each of these and explain how/whether a limited driving privilege is possible. Each of these Limited Driving Privileges come with their own requirements which won't be discussed in this article. If you are in need of a Limited Driving Privilege, then you are likely in need of legal representation and should discuss the privilege with your North Carolina DWI Attorney.
First to be discussed is the 30 day civil revocation just by being charged with a DWI in North Carolina. Though not convicted of anything, the great state of North Carolina saw it fit to punish these people just for being accused of a crime. A driver can petition the court for a limited driving after the first 10 days of the 30 day revocation.
Next, if the Driver refused to blow in the Intoxilizer or Intoximeter the DMV will suspend the driver's license for 1 year. These machines are the ones used at booking, and which shouldn't be confused with the handheld portable breath test used during Field Sobriety Test called the Alcosensor - which you can refuse without consequences. The driver will receive a letter in the mail informing the driver of the pending suspension of the license and explain how the driver can request a hearing. If successful at the hearing (by proving the 'refusal' was not 'willful'), then there will be no suspension. If there is no hearing, or the driver loses at the hearing, the suspension will go into place for 1 year. The driver can petition the DMV for a limited Driving Privilege after the first 6 months of the suspension.
Lastly, if a driver is convicted of Driving While Intoxicated, their license will be suspended for one year. If the driver was not sentenced at an aggravated level one, level one, or level 2 then they can petition the court for a limited driving privilege. If the driver, sentenced at a level 3, level 4, or level 5 and blew a .15 or above, they will be required to wait 45 days before they can petition the court for the limited driving privilege.
If you are facing a North Carolina DWI Charge, you should contact a local DWI attorney immediately so they can work to preserve your rights and hopefully get you back on the road as soon as possible.
Disclaimer - Information and advice offered in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is specific to North Carolina law. The viewing, receipt and/or exchange of information from this article does not constitute an Attorney-Client Relationship. For assistance regarding your particular legal question speak with an Attorney practicing in the field from which your questions derives.