North Carolina has some of the strictest DWI laws in the country. Many first-time offenders do not receive treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, and therefore are likely to reoffend. Repeat offenders are subject to many additional penalties as described below.
Your driver’s license may be revoked permanently if this is your third offense and you had a DWI conviction within the past five years. A second offense within three years will result in revocation for four years. If you have four or more DWI convictions in any time frame, your license can also be permanently revoked.
If your past three DWI convictions occurred within seven years, your charge can be raised to a felony. This will require a mandatory minimum jail term of one year, and this sentence cannot be suspended. A condition of parole is participation in a substance abuse program while incarcerated.
If you are pulled over and arrested for DWI while your license is revoked for a previous offense, a law enforcement officer has the right to seize your vehicle.
This seizure occurs during the arrest, not after the trial occurs. If you are convicted at the trial, the vehicle will be forfeited. The school board can sell the vehicle and retain the proceeds. The school can also keep the vehicle for school use.
You can get your vehicle back only if the court deems you innocent of the charges.
After your first DWI conviction, your lawful blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is reduced from 0.08 to 0.04. After your second DWI conviction, your BAC limit is reduced to 0.00.
Your BAC limit will be reduced to 0.00 if your first conviction was DWI while driving a commercial vehicle, DWI under the age of 21, or felony death by vehicle.
If your BAC was 0.15 or more, or if you have more than one conviction in seven years, the court will require that your vehicle is equipped with an ignition interlock device. This device prohibits operation unless your BAC is under the programmed limit.
Zero Tolerance for Commercial Drivers
If you have a commercial drivers’ license, you will have a BAC limit of 0.00 after your first offense. Your first offense will result in a disqualification period of 10 days, and your second or subsequent offense will revoke your license. This includes school bus drivers, school activity bus drivers, and child care vehicle drivers.
You can be punished more severely for repeat DWI if prior convictions or any of these aggravating factors are present in your case:
- Reckless or hazardous driving on your record
- A child under the age of 16 was present at the time of arrest
- The accident caused injury to another person or property damage
A conviction could mean longer jail sentences, higher fines, and minimum mandatory sentencing without suspension.
Seek Legal Counsel for Repeat DWI Offenses in North Carolina
It’s essential to work with an experienced North Carolina criminal attorney if you are facing repeat DWI charges. We will protect your rights while fighting against your charges. There are many possible defenses we can use in your case. Call today for a free case review.