Every day in the United States, 29 people die in a vehicle crash involving alcohol-impaired drivers.
If you’re drunk and behind the wheel in North Carolina, get ready for the consequences. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense.
There are five different NC DWI levels. Each one carries a different penalty based on the severity of the violation.
A violation is Level 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 or Aggravated Level 1. The charge can change based on aggravating or mitigating factors.
Keep reading to learn about each level and its punishment.
Level 5 is the least severe punishment. Offenders face a $200 fine and at least 24 hours in jail. They’ll also need to perform 24 hours of community service and a suspended sentence is possible.
The max sentence is 120 days in jail, a $200 fine, court costs, probation, and any conditions required by the judge.
A Level 5 DWI conviction suspends your license for a year. There’s a chance for limited driving privileges for work and school.
A Level 4 DWI charge carries a jail sentence from 48 hours to 120 days with a fine up to $500 plus court costs.
The court can suspend a sentence. But, the driver must serve 48 hours in jail or complete 48 hours of community service.
Any probation includes a substance abuse assessment and the recommended treatment or education.
If you’re charged with Level 3 DWI you face 72 hours to 6 months of jail time. The fine is up to $1,000.
A judge can suspend the sentence. But, the defendant must serve 72 hours in jail or complete 72 hours of community service.
Probation requires a substance abuse assessment and completion of any other conditions. This may include a treatment or education program.
A Level 2 DWI sentence carries a minimum jail sentence of 7 days. The max sentence is a year. A $2000 fine and court costs are due.
The court must impose 7 days in jail, or order the driver to abstain from alcohol for 90 consecutive days. Court-ordered alcohol abstinence requires a continuous alcohol monitoring (CAM) system.
A driver with a recent conviction or a suspended license receives community service. If active jail time isn’t ordered, the driver gets 240 hours of community service.
Probation includes abstaining from alcohol. Monitoring can last anywhere from 30 days to the end of the probation period.
If a minor child is in the car at the time of the DWI, a Level 1 DWI sentence is mandatory. It’s also imposed if there are aggravating factors.
A convicted driver faces a $4,000 fine and up to two years in jail. The driver must serve at least 30 days in jail.
The 30-day sentence may reduce to 10 days if the driver abstains from alcohol. CAM monitoring takes place for at least 120 days.
Probation requires a substance abuse assessment and compliance with all court recommendations.
Aggravated Level 1
This is the most serious DWI charge. The driver faces up to 3 years in jail and a fine up to $10,000.
The shortest jail sentence is 12 months. It may reduce to 120 days if the driver submits to CAM for 120 days.
Probation requires the defendant abstain from alcohol for at least 120 days. A substance abuse assessment and compliance with related education and treatment must occur.
Who to Contact for Any NC DWI Levels Charge
If you need advice on your NC DWI Levels charge, contact a lawyer. An attorney can explain your legal and financial consequences.
If you’re in jail and need a bail bond, contact Bail Bonds Raleigh right away.