Being taken into custody for drinking and driving can understandably be unsettling. A number of questions may run through your mind — for example, how soon will the public find out about your arrest, and could a conviction for driving while intoxicated, or DWI, ruin your employment opportunities in the future?
North Carolina, like other states in the United States, strictly forbids driving and driving. However, the Tar Heel State has among the most complex and strictest penalties in place for individuals arrested for and convicted of DWI. Here is a glimpse at what consequences you could face for a DWI conviction in the state.
North Carolina DWI sentencing
If you end up facing a conviction for DWI in North Carolina, you will face one of several levels of sentencing. The state’s various sentencing levels include aggravated level one and then levels one to five.
Penalties include the suspension of your license for 30 days to a year, for four years or permanently for a first, second and third offense respectively. In addition, authorities may additionally require you to get an ignition interlock device on your car. You can also expect authorities to confiscate your vehicle following your fourth offense.
Factors that impact sentencing
A judge will utilize both aggravating factors and mitigating factors to decide what punishment level you should receive for driving under the influence. These factors include, for example, your blood alcohol level while you were driving.
A motorist in the state is driving while impaired if his or her blood alcohol level is at or above .08, or if it is determined that alcohol is affecting the individual while he or she is behind the wheel. Other factors that the judge will consider include your driving history and existing driving record.
If you end up with a conviction for DWI, you might have to attend traffic school, where you will receive education on drugs and alcohol. In addition, if this is your first DWI conviction, you will have to take part in a comprehensive substance abuse assessment that will aid in deciding whether you require further treatment.
In light of the life-changing consequences you may face following a DWI arrest, an attorney will push for the most personally favorable outcome for you given the circumstances surrounding your case.