How Can I Restore My Driving Privileges After a DWI?

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Why is it important to hire a DWI lawyer quickly after being charged with a DWI?”


Driving while impaired is a charge that law enforcement takes very seriously. Arrest data shows that there were almost 28,000 DWI arrests in North Carolina in 2018. A DWI conviction results in a variety of severe consequences, including the temporary suspension of your driver’s license. If you lost your driving privileges due to a DWI you need to know how you can regain your license. A knowledgeable North Carolina criminal defense attorney understands DWI laws and will guide you through the process of obtaining your license again following a DWI conviction.


Wine-glasses-Charlotte-Mooresville-Monroe-DWI-Lawyer-300x225What are Limited Driving Privileges?


If your driver’s license is revoked or suspended because of a DWI arrest or conviction, you are left with a serious problem. Without a license it will be much more difficult to get or maintain employment, attend school, take care of your children, and handle your everyday errands and needs. North Carolina does provide for some special limited driving privileges in some circumstances. Limited driving privileges may allow you to take care of your urgent requirements such as getting to and from work, school, medical treatment, community service activities and other important needs. Obtaining limited driving privileges may be done through criminal or civil court, depending on the circumstances. A DWI attorney will review your situation and assist you in seeking limited driving privileges.


Driver’s License Suspension After Arrest


The legal drinking limit in North Carolina is 0.08% BAC (blood alcohol concentration). If you are arrested for DWI with a BAC of over 0.08% BAC you will have your driver’s license revoked for 30 days until the resolution of your case. There is a way you may be able to retain special limited driving privileges on a temporary basis. To qualify for pretrial privileges you must have had a valid driver’s license at the time of your arrest and you must not have had a DWI conviction in the last seven years. You will also have to show proof of insurance and provide a completed substance abuse assessment. However, keep in mind that the reinstatement is valid for the first 30 days and at that point you will need to pay a reinstatement fee.


Limited Driving Privileges After Conviction


If you are already convicted of DWI you have had your license revoked for a period of time. However, you may still qualify for a limited license. You must qualify for the same requirements as the pretrial privileges. It is possible to request limited driving privileges at the same time as your DWI sentencing hearing. To do so, you must prepare and present all of the documents necessary to the judge in the case. If you qualify and provide the documents, the judge may be able to approve a limited license at the same time. It is important to note that if you had a BAC of .15% or higher you must wait at least 45 days to apply and must use an ignition interlock device. A level I or level II conviction does not allow for reinstatement for a period of one year.


A DWI is a serious offense and requires your immediate legal attention. You can get the help you need from our experienced lawyers. Please contact us today to get a phone, video or in-person consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today or find additional resources here.







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.





Image Credit



See Our Related Video from our YouTube channel:



See Our Related Blog Posts:

What are Field Sobriety Tests?


DWI Checkpoints: What You Need To Know

Contact Information