Last Updated on August 31, 2018 by Keisha Mclean-Green
In the first parts of this series, we covered what happens from the time of arrest until you complete the assessment and receive recommended treatment. This week, let’s talk about the effect a DWI conviction has on your future driving privileges.
As we work alongside our clients to help them throughout the entire DWI process, one question that always comes up is, “What happens next?” After you have completed the DWI Assessment, the recommended treatment, hired an attorney and you have gotten your license back, life doesn’t necessarily go back to “normal”. There are a few things that will be different after your first DWI conviction.
Provisional Driving Privilege
Even when you qualify to get your license back, most judges will set a limit on what you can and can’t do for a period of time after your conviction. This is called the provisional period. During that time, you will have limited driving privileges. In most cases, the limit allows you to drive only during certain hours or only for specific purposes. In North Carolina, if your blood alcohol content level was above .14, you may also be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car for a period time. The device is attached to your car’s ignition and will not allow you to start the car if your blood alcohol level is above .04.
If you have been convicted of a DWI, you can expect to pay more in insurance premiums. Most car insurance companies treat a DWI offense as high risk. According to My Insurance Guide , in some states insurance companies will not write a policy for people convicted of a DWI, so you may have to purchase insurance through a high-risk insurer or a pool established by the state to ensure that all drivers have access to insurance. Since you are required to have insurance in order to operate a vehicle, paying the higher premium is not avoidable. North Carolina also requires you to file an SR-22, which serves as proof that you have the proper amount of insurance that is required by the state. You will have to carry insurance and the SR-22 form for a minimum of three years. If your policy lapses, your insurance carrier is required by law to notify the state licensing authority, which will likely result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
Stricter Penalties For Repeat Offenders
North Carolina is considered one of the toughest states when it comes to DWI convictions. There are strict penalties for getting more than one DWI conviction. In addition to having to complete a longer term substance abuse treatment course, your license will be suspended for a longer period of time and you will be required to spend time in jail. Fines and penalties are also higher for repeat offenders, costing as much as $4000 for a second offense.
Getting a DWI conviction in North Carolina is serious business. We are here to help you through the process so you can get your life back on track as quickly as possible. As always, we remind you to drink responsibly and drive sober.