You didn’t think you were the slightest bit impaired, even though you had a drink or two. When you were charged with driving while impaired (DWI), it came as a total shock.
So what happens now? Since it’s your first offense, do you have any hope of keeping your license?
Probably. Here’s what you need to know about a first offense and your license to drive:
- Your license will likely be revoked for 30 days immediately after you are charged. This is done without a hearing through a civil action by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- After 10 days, you can petition the court for limited driving privileges, usually to work or to run essential household errands, like grocery shopping, during restricted hours.
- If you refused to participate in a Breathalyzer test, however, your license suspension is automatic for a one-year period.
- If you are convicted of the drunk driving charge, your license will be suspended for a year (although you can again petition the court for limited privileges).
- Limited driving privileges will only be granted if you did not have a minor (under 16 years of age) in the car at the time of your arrest, avoided injuring anyone and complete a substance abuse assessment.
Ideally, everyone should play it safe: Just don’t drink and drive. If you’re going out drinking, take along a designated driver or call for a ride home. That being said, mistakes will still be made. If you’re charged with drunk driving in North Carolina, it’s important to have an experienced defense attorney on your case to best protect your rights.