Category Archives: DWI

What are the Penalties for DWI?

Drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs can cause accidents, injuries, and even death. In North Carolina, driving while impaired (DWI) is a serious offense. If you are caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or above or while under the influence of drugs, you could face penalties including fines, jail time, license suspension, and more. Learn more about the penalties for DWI in North Carolina and how you can fight these charges if they have been unfairly applied to you.

What is Considered a DWI in North Carolina?

female driver arrested with dui charges

DWI stands for “driving while impaired.” In North Carolina, DWI is a criminal offense that occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. If a person is charged with DWI, they may face consequences such as jail time, fines, and the loss of their driver’s license.

What’s the Difference Between DWI and DUI in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the difference between the two is that DWI is a crime that requires proof of impairment, while DUI is a crime that requires proof of intoxication. The penalties for both crimes are similar, but DWI carries a higher maximum jail sentence.

If you have been accused of a DWI, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 to talk with North Carolina Attorney Brinkley about your legal problem.

What are the Penalties for a DWI Conviction in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the penalties for a DWI conviction can be quite severe. If there is an aggravating factor present, such as impaired driving, the sentence can be increased. For a first offense, the penalty can range from a revocation of your license to a level 5 DWI, which carries a sentence of up to 120 days in jail. If you are convicted of a DWI, the state may also revoke your license and impose a fine.

Jail Time and Fines

The North Carolina DWI law has five levels of DWI, each with its own set of aggravating factors that can increase the jail time and fines for a DWI conviction. The minimum jail time for a Level V DWI is 24 hours, while the maximum jail time for a Level I DWI is 2 years. The penalty for a Level V DWI is $200, while the penalty for a Level I DWI is $4,000.

License Suspensions

A North Carolina DWI can lead to a license suspension. The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles can revoke or suspend your license if you’re convicted of a DWI. For a first-time DWI offense, your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked for a year. For a second-time DWI conviction, your license will be suspended or revoked for 4 years. For your third DWI, you’ll permanently lose your license.

North Carolina’s Underage DWI Laws

In North Carolina, it is against the law to drive while impaired (DWI). If you are convicted of a DWI, your driver’s license will be automatically revoked for at least one year. If you are under 21 years old and charged with a DWI, your driver’s license will be automatically revoked for at least 30 days pre-trial.

Possible Defenses Against DWI Charges

There are, however, a few possible defenses against DWI charges in North Carolina. One is that the arresting officer did not have probable cause to stop your vehicle in the first place. If the officer did not have a valid reason for stopping you, any evidence of intoxication that was discovered as a result of the stop may be considered invalid and unable to be used against you in court.

Another possible defense is that the results of your breath or blood test were inaccurate. This can happen if the test was not administered correctly or if the machine itself was not calibrated properly. If there is reason to believe that your test results were inaccurate, your attorney may be able to get them thrown out as evidence.

Contact a North Carolina DWI Lawyer

A DWI charge is a serious offense with potentially severe consequences. If you have been charged with DWI in North Carolina, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has experience defending people against DWI charges.

If you have been charged with a DWI, it is important to contact an lawyer who can defend you against those DWI charges as soon as possible. As you see, a DWI conviction can have serious consequences, and an experienced lawyer like Dewey P. Brinkley can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights. He can also help you understand the charges against you and develop a defense strategy. Contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form.

Will I Go to Jail for a DWI?

The potential consequences of a DWI  (driving while intoxicated) conviction can be frightening. Depending on your circumstances, you could face time in jail, hefty fines, a probation sentence, or even have your driver’s license revoked for a period of time.

dui arrest in north carolina

In some states, like North Carolina, there is also the risk of being labeled a convicted felon—something that can have implications for future employment and housing opportunities.

To understand what might happen if you’re arrested for a DWI in North Carolina, it helps to know more about the specific laws and penalties as they pertain to this offense. However, most people convicted of a DWI typically face fines, probation, and potential mandatory alcohol education programs.

In some cases, you may also serve time in jail as part of probation or another alternative sentencing program. Read on to learn more about what will happen if you’re arrested for a DUI.

Will I Go to Jail for a DWI Conviction?

If you are convicted of DWI, you may face jail time. However, jail time is not mandatory for a first offense. The judge will consider the severity of your offense and may sentence you to jail time, a fine, or both. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) was very high, or if you were involved in an accident, you are more likely to be sentenced to jail time.

In most cases, a DWI conviction will result in a driver’s license suspension. The length of the suspension will depend on the facts of your case. However, if this is your first DWI conviction, you may be eligible for a restricted license after a certain amount of time. A restricted license allows you to drive to and from work, school, medical appointments, and other essential activities.

Factors That Affect DWI Sentences

There are many different factors that can affect the sentence given to someone convicted of DWI. Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense and can result in jail time, fines, and a revoked license. The sentence is often harsher for subsequent offenses.

However, there are some aggravating factors that can increase the severity of the sentence, even for a first offense. These include having a high BAC (blood alcohol content), causing an accident while driving under the influence, or having a prior DWI conviction on your record. A clean driving record may result in a lighter sentence, while a history of convictions can lead to harsher punishment. The judge will also consider the circumstances of the offense and the impact it had on others when determining the sentence.

DWI Defense Possibilities

If you have been charged with a DWI, there are a few defenses that may be available to you. If the arresting officer did not have probable cause to stop your vehicle, or if the field sobriety tests were not properly administered, these could be grounds for dismissal of the charges. Additionally, if the breathalyzer test was not conducted correctly or if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was below the legal limit, this could also lead to the dismissal of the charges. However, it is important to note that even if one of these defenses is successful, you may still be convicted of DUI if the prosecutor can prove that you were impaired by alcohol at the time of driving.

Do I Need a DWI Lawyer or Can I Represent Myself?

If you are facing DWI charges, you may be wondering if you need a DWI lawyer or if you can represent yourself. While it is possible to represent yourself in court, it is generally not advisable to do so if you are facing serious charges. An experienced DWI attorney will be familiar with the law and will be able to provide you with the best possible defense. If you are facing serious charges, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side.

Contact a North Carolina DWI Lawyer

If you are facing a DWI charge, in North Carolina, getting an experienced North Carolina DWI lawyer is strongly recommended. They can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome in your case. In addition, a DWI lawyer can help you understand the potential consequences of a DWI conviction, including jail time, fines, and community service. Dewey P. Brinkley is a top DWI lawyer out of Raleigh.

The sooner that you speak with a DWI attorney, the sooner they can start building your legal defense. If you or a loved one have been charged with a DWI, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form.

Do I Have To Consent to a Field Sobriety Test In North Carolina?

dwi cases in north carolina

Being asked to consent to a field sobriety test in North Carolina can be very stressful. You may not know what to do or what your rights are. Field sobriety tests are often conducted at traffic stops, where police officers suspect drivers of being intoxicated. These tests include things such as walking heel to toe, counting backward from 100 by 7s, reciting the alphabet, and answering questions correctly. The officer administering the test has discretion over whether or not he or she wants to administer these tests. If you refuse to take one of these field sobriety tests, it can be used against you in court.

If you are traveling in North Carolina  and have been pulled over by a police officer or highway patrol, you may be suspected of DWI- Driving While Intoxicated. If you are being asked to take a field sobriety test in North Carolina, here are some things to know about field sobriety tests and your rights in North Carolina.

How Field Sobriety Tests Work in the State of North Carolina

The field sobriety tests in North Carolina are used to determine whether someone has been drinking alcohol. They are administered by police officers during traffic stops and other situations where there is suspicion about driving under the influence.

In North Carolina, standard field sobriety tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test, and the one-leg stand test. These tests help police officers identify signs of intoxication such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, unsteadiness while walking, swaying or staggering, and inability to follow instructions.

North Carolina’s Implied Consent Law

The law says that anyone operating a motor vehicle in NC must submit to a chemical analysis if they are arrested for driving while impaired (DWI), according to NCGS §20-4(1). However, there are exceptions to the mandatory testing requirement:

● If the person is unconscious, incapacitated, dead, or otherwise incapable of consenting to a chemical test

● If the officer did not observe signs of impairment

● If you have not yet been arrested

When the Implied Consent Law is in Effect

The implied consent law is now in effect in North Carolina. This means that drivers are legally obligated to submit to a chemical sobriety test after being arrested for driving while impaired. A driver cannot refuse to submit to a test.

The state does allow officers to administer field sobriety tests and breathalyzer tests prior to an arrest. However, drivers can decline to take these tests. This does not mean that the officer won’t arrest you for DWI.

Penalties for Refusing a Sobriety Test

If you refuse to take a sobriety test, it could mean losing your driving privileges. This is because if you refuse to submit to a chemical test, officers can obtain a warrant and draw a blood sample from you. In North Carolina, if you refuse to take a blood test, you lose your license for at least 30 days. The state’s implied consent law requires drivers to submit to chemical tests upon request from police.

Never Waive your Rights

The law requires police officers to inform motorists of their legal rights upon being stopped for traffic violations. This includes informing drivers that they have the right to refuse certain tests and that refusing such tests could result in revocation of their driver’s licenses.
You should never waive your rights when asked to do so by a police officer. It is important to know what your rights are before speaking with the officer. You have the right to remain silent. Do not answer questions without first consulting an attorney.

Defending a DWI refusal in North Carolina

If you are convicted of a DWI, you could face both civil and criminal consequences. In addition to losing your driver’s license, you could receive fines, jail time, or probation.
If you refuse the test, you may still have grounds to challenge the validity of the arrest. Your attorney can help you prepare for an administrative hearing, where you can argue that the police did not have adequate evidence to stop you. At the hearing, your attorney can present evidence that proves that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop.

Consult a DWI Attorney in North Carolina

If you have a good DWI attorney like Dewey Brinkley, your attorney can defend against the charges and help you avoid a conviction. An experienced DWI lawyer should work hard to prove that the officer did not have enough evidence to stop you or challenge the prosecutor’s evidence presented against you.

If you have been arrested for a DWI and decided not to consent  to a field sobriety test in North Carolina, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or  use the online form. As a Raleigh based North Carolina DWI defense attorney, Mr. Brinkley works zealously to defend the rights of those accused of criminal acts.  It’s important to have the best legal representation possible when facing possible DWI charges.

Are DWI Records Public in North Carolina?

If you’ve ever been arrested for anything, it’s very possible that anyone can find it with some online or offline searching. This includes being arrested for a Driving While Impaired(DWI). Therefore DWI records are public in North Carolina.

In  general, criminal records are considered public information throughout the United States. For example in Florida,  every arrest, including court dates, is a public record and easily accessible. Criminal records are available through courthouses as well as “people finder” websites. Using these third-party websites is frequently easier because the information is not limited to availability by locale. Employers may do a search on you if you are applying for a job.

The information from third-party websites can serve as a starting point for anyone looking for a specific record or several records on an individual. However online search sites are not government-sponsored. Availability may vary by the provider and some of the information may not be entirely correct.

Freedom Of Information

Are DUI Records Public in North Carolina?No matter what you’ve been arrested for, including DWI, anyone can learn about your arrest through a public record search unless it’s been expuncted from your record, meaning removed, also called “expunged” in some states.

North Carolina’s Freedom of Information Law allows the public to inspect and examine government-created records. State public criminal records are available in several databases in North Carolina. They are maintained by the courts and law enforcement agencies. These records are also accessible online and allow citizens to request copies for reasonable fees.

North Carolina’s court system also maintains a complete database of charges (arrests) and convictions made in conjunction with law enforcement agencies throughout the state. You can obtain certified copies by mail or in person, or by visiting a local police station.

Wake County utilizes the North Carolina Public Records Law, found at N.C.G.S. Chapter 132, further explains public records. North Carolina requires that public records are to be made available to the public for a nominal cost or for free, as well as via Internet accessibility. Online access to these public records makes things easier for the public and saves Wake County time, money, and resources.

Effects of DWI Arrest

If you’ve been arrested, you will be required to disclose it when asked on employment applications, as well as applications for credit, college, and housing. The exception is if the arrest was expuncted from your record. In the case of DWI, expunction is only possible if the case was dismissed.  Please note, North Carolina does not allow for expunction of DWI convictions.  Be forewarned that if you don’t tell the truth on your application, a background check will certainly reveal the truth for you.

Another direct impact of a DWI arrest is the marked increase in your insurance rates. As a newly branded “high-risk driver,” your rates will increase almost instantly after your arrest. Many companies will refuse to insure drivers who have been arrested for DWI and drop you entirely. However, there are companies that will insure someone who has been arrested, albeit expensively.

Employment

Depending on the type of job you have, it is possible you could be terminated after an arrest for DWI. This is particularly true if driving is a vital part of your job. Bus drivers, truck drivers, delivery drivers, taxi drivers, and other driving-centric jobs may, at the least, suspend you after a DWI arrest.

If you are terminated and need to seek new employment, it is possible to find additional employment. However, you will be ineligible for several different types of jobs, including:

• Jobs in which you’re required to drive
• Military enlistment and other government jobs
• Jobs that require the handling of very confidential information
• Jobs that require working with children, such as daycare and teaching

During an interview, it’s best to wait until asked about any arrests or convictions, but of course, don’t lie. Give a brief description of the circumstances that led to the DWI, what you’ve done since then to correct things, including rehab, and what you learned.
Your DWI defense attorney can advise you on your case and how to proceed with the employment.

Fight The DWI

Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who works to defend DWI cases. He will prepare a strong defense and make sure you receive a fair trial under the law. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 (or use our online contact form) for a free consultation. You can also email him at dewey@deweybrinkleylaw.com.

Can My DWI Record Be Expunged In North Carolina?

Whenever someone says, “background check,” you may be nervous about what they might find especially a DWI.  Whether it’s for a job, an apartment, or some other important event, you probably won’t want them to find it, but they likely will. If one of those discoveries is a DWI, the process might unfortunately end there. So sometimes getting a DWI record expunged is worth looking into.

So the questions remains “Is it possible to have a DWI expunged here in North Carolina?” Yes, but it depends on the circumstances. 

What Is An Expungement/Expunction?

This is when a judge orders a criminal record sealed so that it is not publicly available. This means that a criminal record would not show up in any type of background check or other publicly available checks.  However, prosecutors would still be able to access these records. For someone with a previous misdemeanor record, an expungement -also called expunction – means that they can answer the question, “do you have a previous criminal record?” with “No.”

Getting Rid Of A Record

Can my DWI Record be Expunged in North Carolina

Due to changes in the law, there is no limit on the number of expunctions you can request for both misdemeanors and felonies. However, there is a waiting period of five years for misdemeanors and ten years for felonies before requesting any expunction.

Under NCGS 15A-146, it is possible to have a felony conviction expuncted if:

• You don’t have another current felony conviction on your record
• The court and/or DA dismissed your case
• You were acquitted at trial by a jury

Misdemeanors are also eligible for expunction if the case was dismissed, or you were acquitted at trial by a jury. There is no fee to file this petition. Other cases involving a conviction will require a $175 filing fee for the petition. Expunctions take between nine and twelve months to complete.

If you were charged with DWI but not tried, the charges were dropped, your case was dismissed, or you were acquitted (found not guilty) at a jury trial, a DWI can be expuncted as any other type of charge meaning that in these circumstances, a DWI record be expunged.

When A DWI Cannot Be Expunged

A conviction for DWI is not eligible for expunction in North Carolina. The North Carolina legislature changed the laws surrounding expunction in 2015 so that a DWI conviction cannot be expunged or expuncted from anyone’s record. That’s why it’s important to have a strong defense when facing DWI charges heading into court, so you’ll have a better chance of a “not guilty” verdict or having your case dismissed.

For a single incidence of DWI in North Carolina, there is a seven-year “lookback period” for both in-state and out-of-state convictions. Felony habitual DWI carries a 10-year “lookback period.” This means that for the person arrested today for DWI, a judge could look up their record for ten years and include those previous charges to increase the penalties, such as jail time and fines.

However, if more than seven years have passed since the previous DWI, the current DWI is treated as a “first” offense.

Seeking Expungement?

Even if your case was dropped, dismissed, or you were acquitted, the process of eliminating it from your record is not automatic. You must file a petition to request expungement. Because it’s complex, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh can help you clear your record.

As a former Wake County prosecutor, Dewey P. Brinkley has helped thousands of clients and successfully defended many in DWI cases. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 (or use our online contact form) for a free consultation.

The Penalties For Arrest For Underage Drinking In North Carolina

North Carolina has some of the strictest laws for underage drinking, with zero tolerance. Carrying alcohol, even an unopened container, is also an offense for which a minor can be ticketed. The exception is for those employed by someone with a valid liquor license, such as a driver for a company that makes and delivers alcoholic beverages.

The legal age for the purchase and consumption of alcohol is 21, without exception. This includes minors at home with their parents, or at a private party with their parent’s permission.

Although the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% for adults, any amount of alcohol for anyone under the age of 21 is grounds for a ticket and a possible conviction.

Penalties

The Penalties For Arrest For Underage Drinking In North CarolinaNorth Carolina has strict penalties for those arrested for underage drinking, including:

  • Jail time, up to 120 days
  • Loss of driver’s license
  • Fines and monetary penalties, from $200 to $500, as well as court costs
  • Requirement for community service from one to thirty days
  • Requirement of alcohol and/or substance abuse courses
  • If the drinking occurred on campus, the university or other academic institution may impose additional penalties

If an individual has a prior criminal record of any kind, the penalties can be even more stringent. The overall costs for such an arrest and conviction can be substantial.

Most underage drinking tickets are considered misdemeanors. If the individual were driving under the influence, the charge would escalate to DWI, with substantially higher consequences.

Aiding & Abetting

While someone under 21 may not be able to purchase alcohol, sometimes friends old enough may purchase it on their behalf. This, too, is a Class 1 misdemeanor, with penalties of:

  • Revocation of a driver’s license for one year
  • Fines of $500
  • 25 hours of community service
  • Possible jail sentence

A second conviction of Aiding and Abetting within four years of the first conviction can lead to fines of $1,000 and 150 hours of community service.

Consequences Of Conviction

Even though the ticket is a misdemeanor, a conviction has serious, long-term consequences that can last for many years, including:

  • A criminal conviction that appears on every background check for employment
  • Limits on types of employment, since most employers perform criminal background checks
  • Loss of employment, in some cases
  • Limits on student financial aid and less available education
  • Loss of public housing and public assistance benefits
  • Denial of professional occupational licenses if the crime is directly related to the occupation, such as nurses or pilots
  • Limitations on housing, both rental and for purchase
  • Possible loss of the right to own a firearm
  • Inability to get security clearances for employment

These are in addition to the sanctions imposed by the court.

The UNC School of Government offers this free tool that explains collateral consequences under North Carolina’s law. While it does not offer legal advice, it can give an idea of the type of consequences you could face with a conviction.

Defense For Underage Drinking Charges

A charge of underage drinking is not a minor offense and can bring serious consequences. If you or your child have been charged with underage drinking, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Without legal help, you could be facing serious, long-term consequences.

Dewey P. Brinkley is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, NC with a proven track record of defending clients against criminal charges. If you’ve been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, contact him immediately to begin building your defense.

Call Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your case at (919) 832-0307. You can also email us by using our online contact form.

In North Carolina, What Are My Chances Of Probation in a DWI Manslaughter Case?

North Carolina takes any charge of DWI seriously. The state aggressively prosecutes anyone arrested on DWI manslaughter, and punishments are harsh. However, some cases may be less serious and probation may be a possibility.

Definition Of Manslaughter

DWI Manslaughter Defense AttorneyIn North Carolina, DWI manslaughter is an action resulting in the death of someone that wouldn’t be classified as murder. There are three types of manslaughter:

  • Voluntary, the killing of a person with intent, such as a self-defense situation where deadly force wasn’t warranted
  • Involuntary, the killing of a person without intent, such as in the act of a non-felony crime, was criminally negligent or engaging in negligent conduct at the time
  • Vehicular, in which a person dies through an action involving a motor vehicle driven by someone in a reckless or negligent manner. Also called “death by vehicle,” it includes DWI, texting while driving, speeding, and other offenses.

Vehicular manslaughter that involves DWI is the most serious. At the least, an individual convicted of DWI will spend 24 hours in jail or have 24 hours of community service, along with a $200 fine.

Probation Is Possible

It is possible to receive probation after a DWI manslaughter case, but it will depend on the facts of your case, such as prior convictions and mitigating or aggravating factors. While it may not include incarceration, probation is not a “get out of jail free” card, either.

North Carolina has two types of probation: supervised and unsupervised. Both types have specific requirements and last for a specific length of time which are decided by the judge. This will include not participating in any criminal activity.

  • Unsupervised Probation has fewer conditions and is less restrictive. You will not have a probation officer but will have certain conditions you will have to meet. They can include:
    • Payment of all fines and court costs ordered by the judge by a specific deadline
    • Completion of an alcohol assessment and treatment program
    • Perform a defined term of community service, with the number of hours ordered by the judge
    • Being barred from driving without limited driving privileges or have a legal right to drive
  • Supervised probation requires you to follow the conditions for unsupervised probation, and all conditions issued by the judge, which may also include:
    • Paying all fees and court costs associate with being on probation
    • Regular meetings with your probation officer as required
    • Being either enrolled in school or employed, and notifying your probation officer if you are no longer employed or enrolled
    • Requiring permission from your probation officer to leave the state for any reason
    • Submit to blood, urine, or breath tests, or warrantless random searches if your probation officer sees the need
    • Submit to warrantless searches by law enforcement if they believe you may have been involved in any criminal activity.
    • Not possessing any illegal drugs or any controlled substances without a prescription from a licensed physician

Of course, you must strictly adhere to the terms set out by the judge for your probation. If you don’t follow the requirements, your probation can be revoked, and you can be sent to jail.

Getting to the point of probation requires the help of a skilled DWI attorney who can help with a case of DWI manslaughter.

DWI Manslaughter Defense Attorney

DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, is always a serious charge in Raleigh, and anywhere in North Carolina. If you’ve been arrested for DWI Manslaughter or any DWI charge in Raleigh, it’s vital that you have a strong legal defense. Without it, you could be facing a longer jail sentence without the possibility of probation.

Dewey P. Brinkley is a Raleigh DWI defense attorney who can aggressively defend you against any DWI charges and protect your rights in the courtroom. We will work to have your charges reduced to probation or even dismissed.  Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your DWI case at (919) 832-0307. You can also use our online contact form.

Are The Penalties For Commercial DWI Different Than Regular DWI In Raleigh, NC?

Anyone with a commercial driver’s license (CDL) has an increased level of responsibility and duty of care, even when they’re not working. A charge of Driving While Impaired (DWI) for such drivers is considered a Commercial DWI.   Because a CDL is required for many jobs that require driving, losing that license can directly impact your livelihood. This is especially true for individuals who drive large trucks long distances over the road.

As harsh as a DWI is, the laws are even stricter for someone with a CDL license.

At The Traffic Stop

Are The Penalties For Commercial DWI Different Than Regular DWI In Raleigh, NC?North Carolina Law makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAD) of 0.04 percent or more.

North Carolina General Statute § 20-138.2A makes it a Class 1 misdemeanor operate any commercial vehicle with any amount of alcohol. If you have any detectable level of alcohol in your system, even under .04%, you will be placed “out of service” for a period of 24 hours. A conviction will bring a 10-day disqualification from driving a commercial vehicle and a fine of $100. Within seven years, if you are convicted a second time, you’ll face a one-year prohibition on driving a commercial vehicle.

A CDL driver will also have an increase in the number of “points” on their driving record as a result. Fines can also be increased to as much as double for a CDL license holder.

Hazardous Materials

Penalties are increased if you are in the process of transporting hazardous materials and are stopped for DWI.

If you’re convicted of DWI while transporting these materials, you can be disqualified from driving any commercial vehicle for as long as three years. A second conviction will result in a permanent revocation.

Subsequent DWI Convictions

A first-time conviction for a CDL DWI can disqualify you from driving a commercial vehicle for up to one year.

A second DWI brings a lifetime suspension but can be reduced to ten years by meeting certain conditions set out by the DMV.

A third DWI is a lifetime suspension without the opportunity for reinstatement.

DWI In A Passenger Vehicle

Even if you were driving your own personal vehicle or a rental car, a DWI can still cause problems for your CDL.

However, the threshold is the same for anyone driving a passenger vehicle.  If you are stopped with a BAC of .08 or greater, or if the officer believes you are impaired even if you are below .08, you can still be arrested for DWI. A conviction for DWI under these circumstances could lead to a year-long suspension of your CDL.

If your personal driver’s license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, you won’t be able to request a “hardship” CDL license.

Stop a DWI From Ending Your CDL And Your Career

Losing your commercial driver’s license can have a direct impact on your employment, in some cases, immediately, even if the case never results in a conviction. If you’re arrested, it’s up to you to fight for your license and your livelihood. The right DWI defense lawyer can make all the difference.

Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County prosecutor who works to defend DWI cases for CDL drivers who have been arrested. He can prepare a strong defense and make sure you are fairly represented in court. Contact our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307 or use our online contact form for a free consultation.

 

Facts and Penalties for DUID in North Carolina

While much attention is focused on the problem of alcohol-related driving and accidents, driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) offers another possibility for arrest.

North Carolina law prohibits the operation of any motor vehicle while under the influence of “an impairing substance.” This includes alcohol as well as many types of drugs, some of which are legal.

Chapter 14(a) of the North Carolina statute states:

Alcohol, a controlled substance under Chapter 90 of the General Statutes, any other drug or psychoactive substance capable of impairing a person’s physical or mental faculties, or any combination of these substances.

The statute is far-reaching enough to include both legal and illegal drugs as well as alcohol.  North Carolina General Statutes Section 20-381.1 also states that an individual does not necessarily have to be intoxicated by a specific drug, only that the person has a Schedule 1 drug in his or her system at the time they were driving. However, the wide reach of the law may also include individuals who have chronic conditions that require certain types of drugs that could mimic the chemical structure of Schedule 1 substances.

Illegal Drugs

Facts and Penalties for DUID in North CarolinaThe usual Schedule 1 drugs are covered here:

  • Marijuana
  • Opiates such as heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Synthetic marijuana substances
  • Amphetamines and other stimulants
  • Other street drugs

Under other circumstances, these drugs also have other charges that could be levied. But during a traffic stop, they are not detectible with a breathalyzer or a field sobriety test.

Prescribed Drugs

Because of the state’s definition of a “psychoactive substance,” a range of drugs that are regularly and legally prescribed by a physician can also cause a DUID charge, including:

  • Antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs
  • Opiates prescribed as pain medications (i.e., Oxycontin, morphine, etc.)
  • Prescription antihistamines
  • Sedatives, such as Valium

This is just a shortlist of the many medications that can cause you to be impaired while driving.

Taking medication in a doctor’s office with the understanding that it could impair your ability to drive is not a defense and holds you to the same standard as someone driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08. Law enforcement is also allowed to order chemical tests to detect drugs in the system.

Over The Counter Medications

You’ve probably seen the warning labels on medications about not operating heavy machinery while taking it. That’s because some drugs such as antihistamines (allergy medications) and cold and flu treatments (i.e., Nyquil, Theraflu) can make you tired and drowsy.

Over the counter (OTC) sleep treatments can be natural formulas such as melatonin and valerian, or they can be a combination of antihistamines and Diphenhydramine HCL (such as Unisom.) Other medications that cause fatigue include diarrhea/nausea medications. Some of these medications can leave you with drowsiness in the morning, just in time for you to head to work or school.

But even though you may consider them “safe” because they are readily available at any pharmacy, they can still cause you legal problems if you are in an accident while taking one of them.

Drug Interference

When taking prescription or OTC medications, it’s important to understand how they affect you before you ever get behind the wheel. This is particularly true of medications with warnings about drowsiness.

If you take more than one, it’s possible that the drug interaction can also cause drowsiness or even cause you to fall asleep while driving. Discuss your prescriptions and OTC meds with your doctor if you find yourself with the slightest bit of tiredness. It’s possible that they should be taken at different times of the day to avoid this side effect.

Consuming alcohol can also exacerbate the effects of a “sleepytime” medication if it’s taken around the same time. It may be wise to avoid alcohol altogether to prevent the interaction that could put you at risk of an accident, as well as avoiding the drug if possible to avoid times when you would be driving.

Penalties For DUID

Much like a DUI for alcohol, DUID can bring equally harsh penalties including:

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • Substance abuse assessment and treatment
  • License suspension of a year or more
  • Court costs
  • Attorney’s fees
  • Dramatic increase in car insurance rates
  • Vehicle seizures for habitual offenders

North Carolina has five levels of severity for DUI charges, from 1 through 5, with 1 being the most serious. Subsequent instances of DUI/DUID bring increased penalties, including a mandatory minimum jail time of one year, which can’t be suspended or waived.

Much like an alcohol-related conviction, a DUID means you’ll face other, more serious consequences, including issues with employment.

Call Raleigh’s Experienced DUID Attorney, Dewey P. Brinkley

Dewey P. Brinkley is a Raleigh attorney who can aggressively defend you against DUID charges and protect your rights in court. He will work with you to review all the evidence in your case and ensure that you have a fair trial.

Call the law offices of Dewey P. Brinkley today for a free initial consultation to discuss your DUI case at (919) 832-0307. You can also use our online contact form.

Reasons You Could Get Your Driver’s License Suspended In Raleigh, NC

It’s happened—your driver’s license is suspended, and you need to get around. That means you’ll need to make arrangements to get around for a while. If you’ve been considering carpooling, taking public transit or bicycling to work for a while, you’ll be covered. But you’ll still need to deal with the suspension, and getting your license back.

Why Your License Was Suspended

North Carolina has a number of reasons why your license might be suspended, including multiple traffic violations.

Reasons You Could Get Your Driver's License Suspended In Raleigh, NCFor a single offense, you can lose your license for:

  • 30 days if you were driving over 55 mph and at least 15 mph over the speed limit
  • One year if you fail to stop and offer aid when involved in an accident
  • Three years for illegal street racing with another individual, which includes the seizure of your vehicle

Having more than one offense or conviction can also lead to a suspension:

  • One year if you have two or more convictions for driving over 55 mph and 15 mph over the speed limit.
  • A conviction of reckless driving and one of the aforementioned speeding
  • A conviction of speeding over 75 mph
  • A court sentence that prohibits your ability to operate a motor vehicle for a specific time period

You can also request a suspension hearing by calling your local DMV or writing to the DMV in Raleigh. They will notify you by mail of the time and place for your hearing. You can appeal their decision within 30 days.

Non-Driving Reasons For Suspension

So your driving record is perfect, but your license was still suspended? There could be another reason for that, including:

  • Not appearing in court for other traffic or parking tickets
  • Drug/alcohol rehab
  • Not paying court-ordered child support
  • Fraudulent actions
  • Leaving a vehicle running with an unattended child inside
  • Other court probations and/or violations

Suspension Vs. Revocation

A suspended driver’s license is only suspended for a period of time, such as 30 days. You will not have to re-apply for your driver’s license and re-take any tests. You may be required to pay fines to tickets as well.

A revocation indicates that your license was canceled completely, along with your driving privileges. Your license can be reinstated once you meet the state’s eligibility requirements.

Getting Your License Back

The suspension isn’t the same as a complete revocation, and you can drive again. Once your suspension period is over, you can have it restored by:

  • Paying a restoration fee of $65 to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
  • An additional $50 fee if you didn’t turn your license into the DMV before the start of the suspension period
  • An additional $130 fee if your suspension was for Driving While Impaired (DWI)

Working with an attorney who specializes in driver’s license suspension can make the process easier, especially if you experience any obstacles in the process or need to file a DMV appeal.

You Can Drive Again

Having your driver’s license suspended is a serious inconvenience, and can cost a considerable amount of money if you’re unable to get to work or get around. Attorney Dewey P. Brinkley is your best chance in Raleigh for getting your license back and your driving privileges restored. Call today: 919-832-0307 (or contact him online) to schedule an appointment for your free initial consultation.