03.13.2018

Driving while impaired (DWI) in North Carolina can lead to extremely serious consequences, and anyone who is facing these charges is highly advised to reach out to an attorney for assistance with the criminal justice system. Furthermore, it is also beneficial to have an understanding of the penalties for DWI.

What is the Definition of DWI in North Carolina?

To begin, North Carolina deals with all impaired driving crimes under the same offense unlike other states. To emphasize, it does not matter whether a person impaired by alcohol, illegal drugs or some combination. North Carolina evaluates the overall mental and physical status to determine impairment or intoxication.

Most commonly, North Carolina employs a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) test to determine the driver’s level of impairment or intoxication. The legal limits in North Carolina are as follows:

  •   People under the age of 21 have a limit of 0.00 BAC;
  •   People over the age of 21 years have a limit of 0.08 BAC;
  •   Commercial drivers (CDL) have a limit of 0.04 BAC; and
  •   People with prior DWI convictions have a limit of 0.04 BAC.

To note, that a prior DWI conviction may prevent a person from driving with a BAC of 0.04. Also, The individual circumstances of that person’s case will dictate, one way or the other.

What are the Penalties for DWI in North Carolina?

To clarify, if a person violates North Carolina’s DWI laws, there are six levels of penalties, with penalties escalating drastically

  •       Level 5 DWI can result in driver’s license suspension for 30 days, fines of $200, 60 days in jail and substance abuse treatment.
  •       Level 4 DWI can result in driver’s license suspension for 30 days, fines of $500, 120 days in jail and substance abuse treatment.
  •       Level 3 DWI can result in driver’s license suspension for 30 days, fines of $1,000, 180 days in jail and substance abuse treatment.
  •       Level 2 DWI can result in driver’s license suspension for 30 days, fines of $2,000, 12 months in jail and substance abuse treatment.
  •       Level 1 DWI can result in driver’s license suspension for 30 days, fines of $4,000, 24 months in jail and substance abuse treatment.
  •       Aggravated Level 1 DWI can result in driver’s license suspension for 30 days, fines of $10,000, 36 months in jail, substance abuse treatment. Finally, after prison release there is a mandatory, four-month period of monitored sobriety.

Do You Have Legal Questions for a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Finally, if you are facing criminal charges for DWI or other crimes, there are many potential consequences. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the talented lawyers at Tarlton Polk Law for help.

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