A DWI, or “Driving While Impaired” charge, isn’t something most people plan on. But like a lot of things, a DWI can happen, and you will lose your license, at least temporarily. It doesn’t have to be forever.
If you’ve already had a DWI in Raleigh, you’re probably wondering what to do next, and if you can get your license back. But you will need help from an attorney. Dewey P. Brinkley has represented people in Raleigh for DWI/DUI for over 15 years, and will personally handle all the details of your case.
What does “Driving While Impaired” actually mean?
Driving a motor vehicle of any kind while under the influence of alcohol (or other debilitating substances.) If you are over the age of 21, and you have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) over .08%, a previous DWI or are a CDL driver with a BAC over .04%, or under 21 with any alcohol concentration, North Carolina considers you “impaired.” Mitigating factors include prescription drugs, your physical or mental fitness, and how alcohol affects you. Your license will immediately be suspended for at least 30 days.
What Happens When My License Gets Suspended?
North Carolina will inform you in writing that your license has been suspended, and you are not allowed to drive. The suspension becomes a permanent part of your driving record, and you’ll accrue extra points on your license which will raise your insurance rates.
The Levels of DWI in North Carolina
North Carolina has five tiers of DWI—Level 5, for the first incident, and up to Level 1 for repeated DWI charges. Each level carries increasing fines and the potential for jail times, or probation and substance abuse assessment. Aggravated Level 1 charges includes a $10,000 fine and the potential for 12 to 36 months in jail. Your license is immediately suspended for 30 days, with the possibility of requesting limited driving privileges after 10 days.
How Much Does A DWI Cost?
Once you finish paying for a DWI, you’ll realize why a cab is cheaper. In North Carolina, you’ll have to pay for:
- Bail from jail
- Auto towing/storage charges, if you don’t have a sober friend to drive your car home (or if you’ve had an accident)
- Court costs
- Court-ordered fines and criminal penalties
- Attorney’s Fees
- Traffic school or other re-training courses, which can run from $100 to more than $250
- This may include substance abuse rehab or other courses before you can drive again
- Increases in your car insurance (with increased points), because you’re a higher risk
- Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device on your vehicle—required by the state of North Carolina, for anyone with a BAC of 0.15% and a subsequent DWI within 7 years of the first.
- DMV fees to reinstate your license (about $250)
How Many DWIs Have You Had?
The length of suspension time also depends on how many DWI charges/convictions you’ve had. If it’s your first, your license can be suspended for up to one year. A second DWI offense can see your license suspended up to 4 years, with the possibility of a hearing after 2 years. If you commit a third DWI, your license can be permanently suspended in North Carolina, with a possibility of a hearing after 3 years.
We Can Help You Fight A DWI in Raleigh
Many factors can change the course of a DWI case—incorrect testing, improper procedures and other mistakes discovered in a case can alter the outcome.
If you’ve been charged with DWI in Raleigh, you won’t be grounded forever, but you’ll need help to start the process of getting your license back. Contact the top DUI/DWI attorney in North Carolina today at 919-832-0307 for a free initial consultation. Dewey P. Brinkley is a former assistant district attorney in Wake County, and has successfully defended thousands of DWI clients in the Raleigh/Wake County area.
With experience in many types of criminal defense, Mr. Brinkley will discuss your DWI case with you and begin the process of building your defense so you are properly represented, and get you back in the driver’s seat. Call 919-832-0307 today for a free initial consultation and start your DWI defense.