• DWI Lawyer Raleigh | Understand the Punishment for a DWI Charge
  • August 7, 2013
  • Law Firm: Matheson Law Office PLLC - Raleigh Office
  • I would like to discuss in a detailed analysis the elements that, when combined, form the offense of Impaired driving.  Being a Raleigh DWI Lawyer I have handled many cases where my clients were charged with this offense and with every case the State must be able to prove that each and every element of this charge is satisfied.  A person commits the offense of impaired driving if he drives any vehicle upon any highway, any street, or any public vehicular area within this State.  This person must also be under the influence of an impairing substance; or he or she is operating a vehicle after having consumed sufficient alcohol that he or she has, at any relevant time after the driving, an alcohol concentration of .08 or more.  The results of a chemical analysis shall be deemed sufficient evidence to prove a person’s alcohol concentration.  Or, finally, that person operated a vehicle with any amount of Schedule 1 controlled substance, or its metabolites in his or her blood or urine. 

    This form of offense is a misdemeanor to which the structured sentencing laws do not apply.  There are five levels of punishment; the level depends on the presence of and weight assigned to certain specified aggravating and mitigating factors found by the court.  For a level one punishment there is a minimum imprisonment of 30 days, maximum imprisonment of 2 years, and a maximum fine of $4,000.  For a level two punishment there is a minimum imprisonment of 7 days, maximum imprisonment of 1 year, and a maximum fine of $2,000. For a level three punishment the minimum imprisonment of 72 hours, maximum imprisonment of 6 months, and a maximum fine of $1,000.  A level four punishment carries a minimum imprisonment of 48 hours, maximum imprisonment of 120 days, and a maximum fine of $500.  And finally, a level five punishment deals with a minimum imprisonment of 24 hours, maximum imprisonment of 60 days, and a maximum fine of $200.  As any Raleigh DWI Attorney will tell you, special probation may be imposed in which a person serves a term of imprisonment equal that level’s minimum imprisonment period.

    I would like to end my discussion with one last point in reference to the punishment for this type of offense.  A person convicted of this offense will have his or her license revoked for at least one year.  However, a DWI Attorney Raleigh could ask the judge to grant a limited driving privilege, allowing the use of a vehicle for work and other essential driving necessary for the individual. 

    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.