North Carolina DWI Laws

Being caught drinking and driving and arrested on a DWI charge is no simple matter. Maybe you just had a couple of drinks and thought you were fine to drive. Or possibly you had a lapse in judgment, and know you shouldn’t have been behind the wheel. Unfortunately, North Carolina drunk driving laws are some of the toughest in the nation and the sentence you may be facing is enough to frighten anyone.

Whatever the circumstances, we understand that no one ever expects to be arrested for a DWI. And we understand that people make mistakes – perhaps this DWI is one of yours. But we are here to help you – not to judge you – when you are facing serious charges such as these. As experienced DWI attorneys we know the ins and outs of the North Carolina court system and are available to share our expertise with you.

And we know full well that the police make mistakes everyday, arresting people who they have even the slightest suspicion may have been drinking. Sadly, innocent until proven guilty hardly applies in DWI cases. You’ve lost your license before even being convicted.

But we can help. We are North Carolina DWI lawyers who know how to fight and win drunk driving cases, in all NC criminal courts. We have handled many DWI cases and have probably seen one similar to yours. Don’t let this make you feel like you are just another paying client because, unlike some firms, we are interested in you and we are interested in finding the best possible outcome for your case.

Please contact us for a free, no obligation DWI consultation today.

DWI Laws In North Carolina

There are two ways a prosecutor can prove you were driving while intoxicated in the state of North Carolina. First, is by the manner in which you were driving. The prosecution can attempt to show the court that you were impaired through your driving pattern and your field sobriety test.

Also, however, the state can use your blood alcohol content to get a conviction. If your blood alcohol content is greater than .08% when taken through a breathalyzer or a blood test, you can be found guilty of DWI.

Ref: NCGS 20-138.1

DWI – Immediate License Suspension

When you are charged with DWI your license will immediately be taken pending your trial. This suspension will be for a mandatory 30 days. After the first 10 days of suspension, you may be eligible for limited driving privileges

In order to qualify for the limited driving privileges you must meet certain criteria including, no pending criminal charges (other than the DWI). Also, you must receive a alcohol/substance abuse screening by an approved facility.

Our experienced DWI attorneys can assist you in gaining these limited driving privileges, significantly helping you in day to day life while waiting for your court date.

North Carolina DWI – Penalties

North Carolina uses a complicated system of levels in determining the severity of penalties for a DWI conviction.  There are five levels of DWI in North Carolina, with Level 1 being the most serious.

Which level you are charged with depends not only on your prior convictions but also the circumstances surrounding your current charge, if there was an accident involved, your blood alcohol content, your traffic record, being uncooperative with the arresting officer, or reckless driving. These things are referred to as aggravating circumstances.

Ref: Aggravating Circumstances NCGS 20-179

Generally speaking, for a first offense DWI, where there was no accident, and you cooperated fully with the police, you will be facing a DWI Level 5 charge.

A Level 5 DWI is a misdemeanor that carries the following penalties:

  • A mandatory minimum 24 hours in jail and a maximum of 60 days.
  • Up to $200 in fines.
  • Your license will be suspended for 6 months to a year. The length of time you will lose your driving privileges is at the discretion of the judge. You may be entitled to limited driving privileges after serving a portion of your suspension.
  • You will also be required to attend some form of alcohol or substance abuse education program.

See our multiple offenses and DWI levels page for more details on Level 4 DWI, and Level 1-3 DWI Penalties.

Get Your Free Consultation on North Carolina DWI Laws

Because North Carolina DWI statutes are so complex, your best option is to contact our experienced DWI defense attorneys as soon as possible for a free DWI case evaluation. We are here to help and want to talk with you about your case. Call today for a consultation and find out what you are up against, and how we can help you, and fight to save your license and freedom.

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