This is not surprising when you look at the statistics for DWI-related offenses in this state.
Protect yourself by knowing the laws relating to NC DWI laws before you inadvertently end up on in hot water with the authorities. A DWI infringement, no matter how small, can have a negative impact on your career, your reputation, and your finances.
Let’s have a look at 5 things you need to know about NC state law.
1. You can refuse to take an Intoxilyzer test
If you do refuse to take an intoxilyzer test, your actions will not be free of consequences. Anyone who refuses to be tested faces an immediate suspension of their license for 30 days. You will be given the option of a hearing which you must arrange with the Division of Motor Vehicles.
It is illegal to consume alcohol in North Carolina if you are under 21 years old. An underage driver need only have the smell of alcohol on their breath to be convicted.
2. Offenders go to jail
If you are caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 % in North Carolina, you will be arrested and go to jail to await trail. If you have a previous conviction, then the threshold is lowered to 0.04 %.
A bail bond will be determined according to the severity of your offense and until that is paid, you will have to remain incarcerated.
If you are arrested, it helps to know your rights. Do not attempt to resist arrest under any circumstances.
3. NC DWI Laws have 5 levels of severity
When you are tried for DWI under North Carolina law your offense will be graded according to one of 5 levels of seriousness.
Level V is the least serious and is punishable by a fine of $200, a 30-day suspension of your license and jail time from 24 hours to 60 days. This may be changed to 24 hours community service at the judge’s discretion.
As the levels progress, the fines become steeper and the jail sentences longer.
At Level II, there is a maximum fine of $2,000 and a jail sentence from 7 days to 1 year. Level I is punishable by a fine of $4,000 and 30 days to 2 years jail time. In these two instances, the judge cannot suspend the minimum sentence.
These level I and II drivers are usually repeat offenders and must also comply with treatment for substance abuse before their licenses will be reinstated.
4. Additional factors
Apart from driving while impaired, NC DWI laws prohibit the following:
- An open container of alcohol in the vehicle if the driver has been consuming alcohol
- Having any container of alcohol, open or closed, in the passenger zone of a commercial motor vehicle
- Assisting a minor (under 21yrs) to obtain alcohol
5. License suspension
In accordance with NC DWI Laws, you may have your driver’s license suspended before you are convicted. An additional suspension will apply once you are convicted of a DUI.
These are 1 year for a first offense, 4 years for a second offense and permanent for a third offense. Additionally, after a third DWI offense, the vehicle you were driving will be seized. This will be the case even if it doesn’t belong to you. The owner of the vehicle will have to prove their innocence in order to reclaim their vehicle.
One of the most important things to know about DWI offenses in North Carolina is where to turn so you can get out of jail as soon as possible.
We can help, keep our contact information in a safe place and get in touch if you find yourself in trouble. We will arrange your bail bond for you at any hour of the day, quickly and professionally.