No one wants a Driving While Impaired (DWI) conviction on their record. It may be a painful reminder of mistakes made, or perhaps it has a very real financial impact upon your life. North Carolina has six DWI levels, including severe penalties at all levels like a loss of your driver’s license, fines, and at least 24 hours of community service or jail. There are, however, other ramifications beyond the above initial consequences.
The long-term consequences
There are a variety of penalties and expenses that continue long after the initial charges. These include:
- Civil lawsuits: Drivers who cause injury or death to others may face wrongful death or personal injury lawsuits.
- Increased premiums: Insurance companies may raise your car insurance premium to double or triple the pre-DWI rate. This could add up to thousands of dollars.
- Installation of an interlock device: Drivers need to pay for the installation, maintenance and removal of these devices, which prevent the car from starting until the driver passes a breath test.
- Job applications: Some employers routinely do background checks on applicants they consider hiring.
- Certifications: Some job certifications or professional licenses may be affected by a DWI.
- CDL: Loss of your CDL license, even if not convicted, for one year.
It’s often best to dispute your charges
It is in the driver’s best interests to work with a DWI defense attorney who has experience representing clients before the court. These cases are very detail oriented and are best handled by attorneys that routinely work in this arena. These legal professionals can work to have the charges handled in a way that fits each DWI’s unique circumstances.