Common Driver’s License Issues After a North Carolina DWI
If you’ve been charged with DWI (driving while impaired) in North Carolina, you’re probably already aware that you face serious criminal penalties. Even for a first-time offense at the lowest level, you could be sentenced to incarceration and fines. What you may not know is that you could also encounter numerous driver’s license issues after a North Carolina DWI. Like in many other U.S. states, driving is a privilege, not a right. As such, a drunk driving arrest could trigger multiple consequences for your license before you’re even convicted.
At Randall & Stump, PLLC, we understand that your ability to legally drive affects your life in countless ways, personally and professionally. We’re dedicated to minimizing the impact of driver’s license issues as much as possible after you’ve been arrested. Our North Carolina DWI defense lawyers work hard to develop well-rounded defense strategies, so contact us today.
Immediate License Suspension
If you’re arrested by police on suspicion of impaired driving under North Carolina law, your driver’s license is revoked immediately for 30 days. In the event that you refuse to submit to a breath test, your revocation is effective for twelve (12) months, regardless of whether you’re convicted or beat the case.
Driver’s License Suspension Upon Conviction
You’ll be required to appear in court after a DWI arrest, at which point you can defend yourself against the charges. If you’re unsuccessful and the case results in a first-time conviction, your driver’s license will be revoked for a certain amount of time. Depending on the details of your case, such suspensions include:
- A one-year suspension for a first-time DWI
- Four years of license suspension for a second drunk driving offense
- Permanent suspension for a third or subsequent DWI conviction
Keep in mind that your situation is slightly different if you refused to take a breathalyzer test when requested by police. Even if you’re not convicted of DWI, the court will still impose a penalty for failure to comply with the state’s implied consent statute. Your driver’s license will be suspended for one year if you refuse an officer’s request to submit to such a test.
Limited Driving Privileges
Even after a conviction, there’s a possibility that a judge will grant limited driving privileges that enable you to drive legally for specific, designated purposes. You may qualify if:
- You haven’t been convicted of a DWI within the past seven years
- You faced Level III, IV, or V punishments for your DWI conviction
- You participate in a substance abuse assessment program
Again, there are different statutory provisions that apply for a refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test. You may still be eligible for limited driving privileges, but only after a six-month driver’s license revocation period.
Restoration of Your Driver’s License
One of the unexpected driver’s license issues after a North Carolina DWI relates to the requirements for restoring it after a suspension. You don’t automatically get your driving privileges back when the revocation ends. In many cases, you’ll need to participate in a DWI assessment session to determine whether you’re a candidate for additional support on substance abuse issues. Then, you may need to enroll in and complete treatment recommendations resulting from the assessment.
Call Now to Speak with an Experienced Charlotte DWI Defense Attorney
There may be additional driver’s license issues after a North Carolina DWI, but the details depend on your specific circumstances. To learn how drunk driving laws apply in your case, please contact Randall & Stump, PLLC in Charlotte, NC. You can call (980) 237-4579, or our online contact form to set up your free consultation with a skilled DWI defense lawyer.