Yes, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles can impose various types of revocations the moment you are charged with a DWI. Not only are there consequences for a Driving While Impaired charge, but also for a conviction. Upon conviction, the NC DMV imposes at least a one-year revocation of your driver’s license. However, an experienced DWI attorney will help you get privileges to get you driving again, or file for a hearing and challenge the DMV on the revocation.
Never settle for an attorney that tells you without reviewing the state’s evidence that the case must be for a plea. The decision of whether a case should be for trial or for plea can only be made after carefully reviewing the police report, video, and all applicable defenses. Even if convicted, an attorney can draft limited driving privileges to help you drive to and from work while you complete the revocation period. Read ahead on more of the common types of DWI revocations.
30-Day Civil Revocation
The most common revocation is the 30-day civil revocation. This is issued at the time you are charged with an implied consent offense.
You are subject to an immediate 30-day civil revocation if:
- The officer has reasonable grounds to believe you have committed an implied consent offense (in this case a DWI)
- Submitted to a breath test; and
- Received a breath alcohol content result of .08 or greater
However, an officer must comply with all testing procedures as mandated by law, and any violation of these procedures invalidates the suspension. This is a ripe area for challenging the suspension by filing for a DMV hearing.
If all the above is met, then you will be subject to an immediate 30-day civil revocation. After 30 days, you can pay a $100 fine to the courthouse in the county where you were charged, and your full driving privileges will be restored. Even though it is called a 30-day revocation, the revocation of your driver’s license will continue forever until the $100 fine is paid.
After 10 days, an attorney can petition the court for a limited driving privilege to drive to work and for essential household purposes. In order to qualify you need to have a pre-trial substance abuse assessment. Standard hours for a limited driving privilege are Monday – Friday, 6 am to 8 pm. The reason for it is because outside of those hours is when it is most common for people to drink. However, your work hours may be outside of those times. If so, you will need a letter from your employer in order to be able to drive to and from work. Upon qualification from the judge for limited driving privilege, you must pay a court fine of $100 and in some counties a small processing fee.
Refusal of a Breath Test
If you refused to provide a breath sample, you can face a one-year revocation of your driver’s license. The refusal is valid only if the following happens:
- The officer reads and gives you the standard form with all your rights prior to testing;
- The officer has reasonable grounds to believe that you committed an implied consent; and
- Your refusal was willful
If all the above is met, then the DMV will revoke your license for 1 year. An attorney can request a refusal hearing with the DMV to contest whether the law enforcement officer had reasonable grounds to believe you were driving while impaired, whether the procedure was correctly followed, and whether your refusal was willful. Timely requesting a refusal hearing will halt the revocation of your driver’s license while the hearing is pending.
In most circumstances, you will have your license revoked for 1 year upon conviction of a DWI (all first-time offenders). If you have a prior DWI conviction with an offense date within three years of your current DWI, then you will lose your license for 4 years. A third DWI conviction within 10 years will result in permanent revocation of your driver’s license.
With four-year revocations, you may be eligible after two years to petition with the DMV for the restoration of your driver’s license. With a permanent revocation, you must wait at least 3 years for a DMV hearing. If you have a revoked license for habitual DWI, the waiting period is 10 years before you can petition for a DMV hearing.
Getting Your License Back…Partially
You may be eligible for limited driving privileges if:
- At the time of the offense you held a valid driver’s license (or a license that had been expired for less than a year);
- At the time of the offense, you had not been convicted of DWI within seven years.
- You are punished at only a level 5, 4, or 3.
- After being charged you do not receive any more DWI charges or convictions; and
- You have obtained and presented to the judge a DWI substance abuse assessment.
Standard hours for a limited driving privilege are Monday – Friday, 6 am to 8 pm. If you need to work outside those hours, then you will need to present a letter from your employer. Unlike pre-trial limited driving privileges, you also need to provide a form from your insurance company called a DL123. That form establishes that within 30 days of seeking the privilege you were properly insured. The costs for a limited driving privilege are a court fine of $100 and in some counties a small processing fee.
Schedule a Free DWI Consultation Today
If you’ve recently been charged with a DWI in North Carolina, it’s imperative that you act quickly. Schedule a free consultation with one of our DWI attorneys today. We have offices conveniently located in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point.