• North Carolina DWI Conviction | Understanding When the 'Interlock' is Required
  • April 30, 2012
  • Law Firm: Matheson Law Office PLLC - Raleigh Office
  • In North Carolina, a Defendant convicted of North Carolina Driving While Intoxicated will face many different punishments as a result. As a Raleigh DWI Lawyer and a Durham DWI Attorney I am very familiar with North Carolina DWI Sentencing Structure. At a bare minimum, the Defendant can expect the requirement that they receive an Alcohol Assessment (and must adhere to the recommendations given from the assessment), community service, fine, court cost, unsupervised probation, loss of license for a year, and a substantial increase to their automotive insurance premium (four hundred percent to be exact). Considering the facts surrounding the case and/or the Driver's prior record, they could easily be sentenced to supervised probation, a larger fine, even the possibility of an active jail sentence (though this is normally not seen in all but the more serious offenders). One factor that can come in to a DWI conviction sentence is the requirement that an Interlock Device be installed in the Driver's vehicle for twelve months.

    The Interlock Device is a machine hooked up to the Driver's vehicle which must be blown into, and register a zero level of alcohol on the Driver's breath, before the vehicle can be started and driven. This machine can be a very frustrating requirement in someone's life. The Driver must pay for the installation and monthly maintenance of the device. The Device must be blown into before the vehicle can start, as well as several times while the vehicle is in motion, in order to keep driving. These machine can malfunction which will include having service calls out to your location. All and all, it can be a large hindrance on Driver's life.

    In North Carolina, an Interlock Device is required for anyone who has a blood alcohol level of .15 or above. In addition to having to have the Interlock Device installed for 12 months, a blood alcohol level of .15 or above also serves as a aggravating factor for DWI Sentencing purposes as well. The requirement of the Interlock Device for 12 months begins when the Driver begins driving again. So, even though the Driver's license is suspended for 12 months, whether they wait the 12 months, or get a limited driving privilege, they will still have to have the Interlock Device installed at the point they start driving again. It will not be removed for 12 months from the point it is installed.

    Though any DWI conviction can be frustrating and a large financial burden on the Driver's life, a conviction of a blood alcohol level of .15 or above will add the burden of the Interlock Device. If facing a DWI charge in North Carolina with a blood alcohol level of .15 or above, you should immediately speak with a local DWI attorney about your case to see what options you may have available to you.

    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.