Five Things to Know About DWI in North Carolina

2-1024x1024Five Things to Know About DWI in North Carolina

Driving while impaired, DWI, is a serious offense and if you are convicted, you could face serious penalties. A DWI conviction can limit your ability to get a job or find an apartment and can increase your car insurance rates. If you are facing a DWI you will want to vigorously defend the charges with help from an experienced DWI attorney. Here are five important things to know about DWI in North Carolina.


The Legal Limit is 0.08% BAC

Impairment is measured using blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The legal limit in North Carolina and many other states is 0.08% BAC. The legal limit for commercial drivers is 0.04% BAC. If law enforcement suspects that you may be impaired, they will conduct field sobriety tests. These tests may consist of the walk and turn test, the one-legged stand, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, among others. It is important to note that North Carolina has a zero-tolerance law, meaning that anyone under the age of 21 must have a 0% BAC.


Learn the five essential things about DWI in North Carolina from Managing Member Matt Arnold. Check out the video now!


There are Levels of DWI

North Carolina designates levels of DWI. Level V is the least serious and levels range down to Level IA, which is the most serious. Each level has a recommended sentence that includes a minimum and maximum jail sentence as well as fines. The judge may, at his discretion, suspend a sentence for levels III, IV, or V and require community service and/or a temporary suspension of driver’s license. It is helpful to seek guidance from a knowledgeable DWI attorney to assist you in defending DWI charges.


Your Driver’s License Will Be Temporarily Suspendedman-with-drink-handing-over-car-keys-1951137-683x1024

At the time you are charged with DWI, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 to 45 days. You may qualify for limited  driving privileges to get to and from work or school. This is called limited driving privileges or a hardship license. If you are subsequently found guilty or plead guilty of DWI, the judge will impose a sentence that often includes the temporary suspension of your driver’s license. If you are caught driving on a suspended license, additional penalties will be imposed.


Implied Consent to DUI Testing

North Carolina utilizes the implied consent law that requires drivers to submit to testing when requested by law enforcement. If you do not comply, you are subject to an automatic suspension of your driver’s license for a period of one year. That suspension is separate from any actions that occur based on the DUI arrest itself. The requirement does not include roadside DUI testing. However, if you refuse to take the test, law enforcement may still arrest you on suspicion of DUI. It is almost always advisable to take the DUI test. You may request your own private testing as well, which may help in the defense of the charges.


Repeat Offenders Face Additional Consequences

The sentence for repeat DUI offenders increases with the number of convictions and the severity of the offense. After you are convicted of your first DWI you will face revocation of your driver’s license if you have another DWI conviction within three years. If that happens, you are not eligible for a limited license. Repeat offenders will likely face additional penalties such as a longer jail sentence, and increased fines, and may be required to install an interlock ignition device to reinstate driving privileges. After a third offense, you will permanently lose your driving privileges.


A DWI conviction could cause you a lot of stress and might negatively impact your life for years to come. If you are charged with DUI you will want to seek legal help from an experienced DUI attorney. Call us today at Arnold & Smith, PLLC at (704) 370-2828 to discuss your case.








The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.




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