This is Part 3 of our series on The DWI Process: From Arrest To Reinstatement. See the links below for Parts 1 and 2 of this series.
When you are arrested for driving while impaired in North Carolina, the law requires your driver’s license to be revoked or suspended, even if it is your first offense. In some cases (depending on the severity of your charges), you may request limited driving privileges 10 days after your DWI charge. As we discussed last week, there are specific steps that you must follow in order to get your license back. The following outline, reprinted from the North Carolina Driver’s Handbook, shows you how long your license will be suspended based on the number of DWI convictions.
DWI Convictions & Driver’s License Revocation
- First conviction — Mandatory revocation of your driver license for a period of one year.
- Second conviction — Mandatory driver license revocation for a period of four years when convicted of a prior offense which occurred within three years of the current offense for which the license is being revoked.
- Third conviction — Mandatory, permanent driver license revocation if at least one of the prior convictions occurred within the past five years.
- Fourth conviction — Mandatory permanent driver license revocation. The fourth conviction is considered a felony if the three prior DWI convictions occurred within the past seven years.
If you are convicted of DWI while your license is revoked for an earlier DWI conviction, the court may order your vehicle seized and sold.
Blood Alcohol Concentration Restrictions:
A blood alcohol concentration restriction will be required when a license is restored following a suspension for DWI or when a Limited Driving Privilege is issued following a DWI conviction. After that call lawyers for suspended license.
On the first restoration, the alcohol concentration restriction will be 0.04. On a second or subsequent restoration, the alcohol concentration restriction will be 0.00. Additionally, if you are convicted of DWI in a commercial motor vehicle, driving after consuming alcohol or drugs while under the age of 21 or felony death by vehicle, the alcohol concentration restriction will be 0.00.
Furthermore, a conviction of Driving While Impaired with a BAC of 0.15 or more, or another conviction within the past seven years, will require an ignition interlock device to be installed on the vehicle.
Alcohol and the Young Driver
The legal age to purchase any alcoholic beverage in North Carolina is 21. It is against the law for any person who is younger than 21 years of age to purchase or to attempt to purchase alcohol.
The law requires a one-year driver license revocation upon conviction for:
- Any underage person who attempts to purchase or purchases an alcoholic beverage;
- Any underage person who aids or abets another who attempts to purchase or purchases an alcoholic beverage;
- Any underage person who obtains or attempts to obtain alcoholic beverages by using or attempting to use a fraudulent driver license or other ID or another person’s driver license or ID; or
- Any person who permits his or her driver license or any other ID to be used by an underage person to purchase or attempt to purchase an alcoholic beverage.
- Any person who gives an alcoholic beverage to any underage person.
If a driver who is less than 21 years old is convicted for an offense of driving with any amount of alcohol or drugs in his/her body, his/her license will be revoked for one year.