Attorney: Patrick Apple
Type of Case: DMV Interlock Violation Hearing
Case Result: Won – Client is allowed to keep his driver’s license
County: Guilford County

Attorney Patrick Apple recently helped a client who unexpectedly received an interlock violation notice from the DMV. Many people initially try to handle these hearings on their own and are not prepared for the type of DMV hearing questions they’ll be asked. So, our Greensboro team was glad to stand by our client from the beginning.


Interlock Violation Notice from the DMV

Our client had two prior DWI’s and recently had his license restored with certain restrictions including an Alcohol Content Restriction. The Alcohol Content Restriction requires an interlock device on the client’s vehicle for three years for him to drive with a valid license.

The ignition interlock requires him to blow into a device to start his vehicle. He also needs to complete rolling breath sample re-tests to ensure that he does not have any alcohol in his system to be able to drive. Several months into his license restoration he received a notice from the NC DMV. According to the DMV, his license was scheduled for suspension for violating his interlock and alcohol restriction. Our client was baffled at this claim from the DMV as he was sober for over five years.

It’s important to note here that the DMV does not give you proper notice of what violation they allege has occurred. If you proceed with a hearing without an attorney, you would be walking into an ambush. Also, know that you have ten days to request a hearing. 

Allegedly, our client had three reported rolling-retest BAC blows over .01. His alcohol content restriction was .000. As such, these were considered high-fails and treated as violations of his license restrictions. Our client also worked in a restaurant with a bar, which did not present him in a favorable light. Also, the times of the violations were late night and early morning hours typical of when people are most likely to drink and drive. These coincidental facts made our client appear guilty of violating his interlock restriction.

With this interlock violation, our client was facing the loss of his driver’s license for at least a year. He risked not getting credit for the months he had accumulated driving on interlock for the time after the date of the violation. He’d have to pay for interlock monitoring for the months he already had completed. And, there would be no guarantee that our client would get credit for them if he lost the hearing.

Preparing for the DMV Hearing Questions and More

Attorney Patrick Apple readily overcame the challenges of the case by reviewing all of the client’s interlock download logs, conducting multiple interviews with the client and potential character witnesses as to the facts and to his sobriety, as well as undertaking a careful scientific analysis of the reported BAC levels. This rigorous work on the front end prepared our client for the thorough and well-considered DMV hearing questions asked by the hearing officer.

At the close of questioning and before the introduction of two additional witnesses, Patrick was almost sure they had won the case. The hearing officer then asked if Patrick still wanted to introduce the two witnesses and mentioned that they may not be needed. Patrick picked up on the subtle cue and ended the hearing quickly. He suspected that the hearing officer had already made up his mind in their favor. Shortly after, the hearing officer gave them the good news that he did not find our client in violation of the restrictions of his license and interlock.

Being overprepared with multiple witnesses allows us to come to a hearing from a position of strength rather than from fear.

Thanks to Patrick’s diligent work, our client gets to keep his driver’s license. He gets credit for the time he has spent driving with interlock and avoids having to pay more fees for time driving interlock he would have otherwise lost.

Did you receive a notice from the DMV about an interlock violation?

There is a limited time to request a hearing on alleged violations and notice of a suspension or revocation. Furthermore, clients should be careful about what information they give their monitoring agency in regards to the reason for any alleged violations. Any statements will likely resurface in any future hearing.

Contact an attorney immediately if you receive a letter from the DMV regarding a suspension or revocation of your license. You have options! Be sure to abide by the terms of your interlock monitoring agreement carefully and always keep a bottle of water handy before tests to avoid false positives!