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North Carolina DWI Look Back Period

North Carolina’s strict DWI laws are designed to serve as a deterrent against driving under the influence in our state. As such, the State does not look favorably upon those who are charged with this serious infraction more than once in a seven-year period.

Not only are North Carolina’s DWI laws tough, the sentencing structure used to enforce them is complicated. As a result, many people are understandably intimidated if they are facing a DWI, especially if it is not their first.

Those convicted of a DWI are sentenced to one of five main tiers of punishment, depending on certain factors in the case. The more aggravating or grossly aggravating factors against you, the harsher your punishment will be.

In regard to North Carolina’s look back period, a prior DWI conviction that occurred within seven years of your current DWI is considered a grossly aggravating factor. One grossly aggravating factor in your case will result in a Level 2 sentence that will require one week to 12 months in jail, mandatory completion of a substance abuse treatment program, probation and a fine of up to $2,000.

Driving-Related Penalties

Aside from jail time and hefty fees, violating North Carolina’s look back period will also have a huge impact on your driving privileges. A second DWI will result in a four-year license suspension. A third DWI could result in the permanent loss of your license.

In the event that your license is restored, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device, or IID, installed on your vehicle. The IID monitors your blood alcohol content by requiring you to blow into a tube each time you want to start your car. If the device detects any alcohol on your breath, your vehicle will not start. This cumbersome and embarrassing device is also expensive. You will be responsible for the charges associated with having an IID, which include installation and maintenance fees for the duration of your sentence.

Facing a second or subsequent DWI in the State of North Carolina could significantly impact your future. A local DWI defense lawyer will understand the gravity of the charges you are facing and have the experience and knowledge to put the law to work for you.