Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Why is it important to hire a DWI lawyer quickly after being charged with a DWI?”
In North Carolina, some drivers who have been convicted of driving while impaired are required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their car. The idea behind this is that in order to start the vehicle and continue driving, the driver can not be impaired. We live in a society in which driving is almost always necessary. The device gives drivers who have lost their license the ability to regain their license with just some conditions. Not every driver who is convicted of an impairment-related charge will be required to have an ignition interlock system in his or her vehicle. It depends on the specific state laws and the circumstances surrounding the charge and conviction. The device can be an excellent way for the defendant to retain possession of his or her license.
A new study conducted by the National Center for State Courts explores the safety benefits of ignition interlock systems. Not all states have the same ignition interlock system laws. Some states are stringent in their requirements, while others are not. There is a vast difference in the percentages of alcohol-related crashes for states that require every person convicted of impaired driving to have an ignition interlock device and states that do not. In North Carolina, there is a small section of people convicted who are required to have an ignition interlock device installed. States with more stringent ignition interlock system laws might see up to 15% fewer alcohol-related crash deaths.
Ignition Interlock Systems in North Carolina
North Carolina is one of the states that has less stringent rules about ignition interlock systems than other states. These are the groups of people who might be subject to having an ignition interlock system in their vehicle:
- A person convicted of driving while impaired with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more
- A person convicted two or more times within seven years of the current offense that leads to the license being revoked
- A person convicted of aggravated DUI at level one
A driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more must have an ignition interlock system installed in his or her vehicle. It is up to the judge to determine what the sentence will be for those who are convicted of DWI with a lower blood alcohol content.
As you can see, there are limited situations in which a person is required to have an ignition interlock system. While having the system in your car may seem inconvenient, it is actually a way for the defendant to regain possession of his or her license, albeit with a few conditions.
The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here to help you following a DWI charge or conviction. We know that you need to drive, and the loss of your license, whether through suspension or revocation, can have a profound impact on your life. We will advocate for you and get you the best results possible given the circumstances, even if that means installing an ignition interlock system so that you can still drive. Contact us today for a consultation. If you find yourself facing criminal charges and need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe (by appointment only until 2019), please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 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.
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