Anyone convicted of a DWI (driving while impaired) in North Carolina faces a wide range of potential penalties and sentences. DWI laws are stricter and more complex than many people realize. There are some significant and unpleasant differences between what many think they know about DWI laws and what they may not know.
If Convicted of DWI, the BAC is No Longer .08
- It’s well-known that the legal limit for BAC (blood alcohol content) is .08. Anyone driving with a higher BAC could be arrested for DWI.
- It’s less well-known that after a DWI conviction, the legal BAC drops to .04. For some people, driving after drinking one beer could result in a second DWI conviction with very serious consequences.
- North Carolina imposes DWI penalties (jail time, fines, etc.) based upon the severity of the offense, ranked from Level 1 (the most severe) to Level 5 (the least severe).
- Not everyone realizes that aggravating factors can cause harsher penalties to be imposed. For example, a Level 1 fine could be $4,000, but an Aggravated Level 1 fine can be as high as $10,000. Some aggravating factors include: driving on a revoked license, speeding, reckless or dangerous driving, causing an accident, trying to avoid arrest and two or more DWI convictions.
Losing Your Vehicle
- Being arrested for a DWI can result in your vehicle being seized by the state and held pending trial.
- If convicted of DWI, the state can sell your vehicle and donate the money to local schools. You will not be allowed to register another vehicle until your license is fully restored.
- Your driver’s license can be revoked for 1 year after the first DWI conviction.
- If convicted of a second DWI within 3 years, your driver’s license could be revoked for 4 years.
Drinking Under the Age of 21
- It’s illegal for anyone to drink before the age of 21.
- If you’re under 21, the BAC is not .08, it is zero. Since it is illegal for minors to drink, there is no legal limit. Any drinking and driving can result in a DWI conviction.
John K. Fanney of the Fanney Law Office is board-certified in both state and federal criminal law. DWI is a very serious charge. John Fanney will thoroughly investigate your case and devote all of his skill and knowledge to your defense. Contact his office today.