DWI License Suspension in North Carolina
The loss of your driving privileges is one of the likely consequences of a DWI conviction. Having your license suspended is life altering in so many ways. Not being able to drive will certainly cause interruptions in your family’s routine and will make it very difficult to get to and from work or school. You will be required to make other arrangements so that you can do everyday things, like go to doctor’s appointments and run errands. Avoiding a DWI conviction is essential.
In the event that you refused the breathalyzer at the time of your arrest, your license suspension will be automatic. How long will the suspension last? And how can you get your license back?
How Long Will My License Be Suspended?
The length of your license suspension will dependent on several factors including prior DWI convictions and the specifics of your case, including whether or not you took submitted to a breathalyzer test at the time of your arrest.
Generally, the DMV will impose a 30-day suspension on a first-time DWI offender. However, if you refused the breathalyzer at the time of your arrest, your license will be automatically suspended for one year. If you face a second DWI suspension within three years of your first, your license will be suspended for four years. A third DWI conviction within seven years of the first will result in a permanent revocation of your license.
Limited Driving Privileges
In some circumstances, you may be eligible for limited driving privileges after your license has been suspended. For a first offense that does not include a breathalyzer refusal, it is possible to apply for limited driving privileges 10 days after of your arrest. For a suspension involving a refusal, you may apply for limited driving privileges after six months of your one-year suspension has passed.
The process of applying for limited driving privileges involves quite a bit of paperwork. You must have a copy of your seven-year driving history from the DMV, a copy of your alcohol or substance abuse assessment, a Petition for Limited Driving Privilege and a DL-123 insurance form from your insurance company, which verifies that you are insured. You must also have three copies of a proposed driving privilege, which is a document from the court that explains why you are a good candidate to receive limited driving privileges.
Perhaps the most extreme punishment that the DMV can levy against you will happen if you receive an additional DWI charge when your license is revoked or suspended—even if you have limited driving privileges. If this occurs, the State will confiscate and sell your vehicle.
The sooner you can get your license back the better.