More people die in alcohol-related crashes in North Carolina than in the rest of the United States on average. As a result, North Carolina law takes a tough stance on impaired driving.
If you are caught driving while intoxicated, you will face some serious penalties.
Keep reading for more information on what to expect if you receive a DWI in NC.
DWI in NC
DWI law in North Carolina does not allow driving or operating a vehicle while under the influence of an impairing substance, having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, or having any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance in your blood or urine.
Schedule I substances are drugs, often illegal, such as opiates, amphetamines, and heroin. Unfortunately, North Carolina is one of the toughest states when it comes to prosecuting DWIs.
Those who are convicted of a DWI are sentenced on a sliding scale, meaning there are five levels of DWI on the misdemeanor scale. Level V is the least serious offense and level I is the most serious offense.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation is the entity that imposes administrative penalties on those convicted of a DWI. These penalties are separate from the criminal penalties they may receive.
In North Carolina, most DWI convicts have their license revoked. At the time of arrest, you may have your license civilly suspended. If you are then convicted in a criminal court of law, you may have a criminal suspension.
Your First DWI
If you are pulled over and refuse to provide a breath sample or blow a .08 or high, you will have your license revoked for at least 30 days.
After you have a hearing, an additional one year revocation period begins. If you aren’t convicted in court, you may be granted limited driving privileges after 6 months.
If you are convicted, even though your license will be revoked for one year, you may be able to participate in a program that allows driving to work during certain hours. This period begins after ten days and requires participation in drug and alcohol treatment determined by the court.
All drivers in NC who receive a DWI are required to complete a substance abuse assessment and receive any treatment that the court deems necessary before getting their license back.
Jail Time and Fines
Even the least serious offenders face a minimum jail sentence of 24 hours in North Carolina. However, the court can suspend this time so that you don’t actually have to go to jail.
The most jail time you could face for the most serious conviction is 2 years.
You may face a fine ranging from $200 to $4,000 based on the classification of your offense.
If You Get a DWI
If you receive a DWI in NC, we recommend retaining legal counsel. An attorney experienced with DWI cases who is licensed to practice law in North Carolina will be the best resource for your case. If you find yourself in jail and in need of a bail bond, contact us here.