Driving Under the Influence / While Intoxicated: Felony Traffic Crimes in North Carolina

In today’s world, cocktails accompany a wide range of social activities: a few beers while watching the football game; a couple cocktails at happy hour; a glass of wine and a dessert drink with dinner. These social behaviors are all in good fun, but mixing them with driving is, in most cases, socially unacceptable, illegal, and can end in an arrest for driving under the influence. While you may feel okay to drive after one drink, if you’ve had more than that, chances are high that you are over North Carolina’s legal limit.

An arrest for driving under the influence (in North Carolina, the accurate terminology is Driving While Impaired) is a serious offense with serious consequences. Working with an experienced North Carolina DUI / DWI attorney can level your playing field, and protect your rights, your record and your future. DWI law is complex. The guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case, and the experience you will have during your contact with the North Carolina Criminal Courts.  Tony is an accomplished DUI / DWI attorney and is experienced in representing people throughout Western North Carolina who are facing drunk driving charges and other traffic violations.

While severity of punishment and offense are directly related, driving under the influence of alcohol or other substance is a serious crime.  Punishments can include:

  • Loss or suspension of license
  • Large fines
  • Substance-abuse treatment
  • Jail or prison time
  • Community service
  • Restitution
  • Criminal record
  • Restrictive probationary license programs
  • Required installation of ignition interlock devices
  • Vehicle seizure
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Alcohol monitoring (as of December 2011)
  • In addition, the social stigma and effect on your career may have lifelong negative consequences.

When you are arrested for DWI in North Carolina, your license is automatically revoked for a period of 30 days following the arrest. This is called a pretrial revocation. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you through this process. We know your mistake has an impact on your family and your ability to maintain your life. We can help you regain limited driving privileges during your pretrial revocation, just 10 days after your DUI arrest. Do not loose hope. We can help you get your life back on track. Ask Tony to evaluate your pretrial suspension, and see where you stand with regard to regaining limited driving privileges.

If you have more than one DUI / DWI arrest, or if the arrest was caused by an accident that included another person, the penalties can increase dramatically, especially in the case of injury and property damage.

North Carolina, like most states, has regulations that allow judges to order the installation of interlock devices in vehicles registered to the people arrested for driving under the influence. An ignition interlock device is a breath alcohol measuring device. Once installed, the driver is required to blow into the device before the car will start. Ignition will fail if alcohol is detected by the device.

A DWI / DUI related accident or second conviction carry much stiffer consequences, including incarceration, a life long criminal record, financial restitution, civil lawsuits, fines, fees, required education, social stigma and regret, restrictions on your ability to be mobile, attorneys fees, probation and long-term inflation in insurance rates.