Greensboro DWI Lawyer

Greensboro DWI lawyer

A DWI lawyer in Greensboro, NC from Garrett, Walker, Aycoth, & Olson, Attorneys at Law, PLLC have helped clients get through some of the most difficult periods of their lives. Being charged a serious drunk driving charge is one of the most stressful things that you can experience, and if you may not be sure what to do. And for many, being arrested and facing a criminal conviction is certainly one of the scariest things they will go through. Unfortunately, the legal system frowns upon those who have been accused of criminal actions before they are even found guilty. You must have a legal team that understands the nuances of criminal law and how to defend you properly. If you are facing a DWI or DUI charge, there is legal help available for you. Hire a skilled DWI lawyer who will be there for you at your side and give you proper legal guidance without judgment. Their focus will be to protect your rights so that you do not face the worst consequences. No matter what kind of DWI violation you are charged with, you can depend on a trusted lawyer to give you the legal assistance that will benefit you. 

FACTORS IN A DWI/DUI PENALTY


Each state varies in how they decide what the penalties should be for a DWI/DUI charge.
Some states have much harsher laws compared to others. The factors that will be considered in a DWI or DUI charge include the laws that you broke, the amount of alcohol in your system, field sobriety test results, the amount over the legal limit, and whether you were driving recklessly. Depending on the strength of evidence against you, you can find yourself facing severe penalties. Someone who is found guilty of driving while under the influence of a substance may face a suspension of their license, expensive fines, home confinement, prison time, community service, or having to install an ignition interlock device. You should take all of these consequences seriously because even a minor charge can negatively impact your life. The court may take the following factors into consideration:

  • Whether injury or death was caused by the DWI/DUI incident
  • The individual’s prior conviction history
  • If the driver was 21 or over when arrested
  • If a minor person was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest
  • Whether an accident or property damage occurred

If you are facing multiple DUIs charges or already have prior convictions,  it is especially important to obtain a lawyer who can reliably advocate for you and provide a strong defense. You should not leave your defense up to chance. As someone who is facing a DWI charge, you need to do whatever it takes to obtain strong legal representation. Otherwise, you may face the worst consequences and penalties that can seriously affect your life and can impact you for years. An experienced lawyer will examine the facts and evidence of your case to determine the best legal strategies that will most likely yield a good case outcome.

LOW BAC LEVEL


The most frequently used metric in measuring someone’s alcohol consumption is through a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. In most states across the country, there are legal limits for adults over 21 years of age, where a person cannot operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or more. An experienced criminal defense team knows how to fight DWI/DUI charges, so contacting a Greensboro DWI lawyer in NC immediately is strongly recommended, as you’ll need someone who understands law and can advocate for your behalf during this time. 

After being pulled over, an officer may have the driver perform a breathalyzer test, which assesses their level of alcohol in the bloodstream. Even if a person’s BAC level is below the illegal limit, driving while visibly impaired can still lead to arrest. The officer must be able to show the court evidence of the driver’s impairment, such as slurred speech, weaving in and out of traffic, speeding, etc. 

MULTIPLE DUI LAWS IN GREENSBORO, NC

In North Carolina, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of an impairing substance, for example, Alcohol, or any amount of a Schedule 1 controlled substance. If it is found that enough alcohol was consumed to put the driver over the legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) limit or the driver has any amount of a Schedule 1 controlled substance in the body – the driver can be charged with DWI.

BAC limits in the North Carolina are as follows:

  • For drivers 21 and over – .08
  • CDL drivers driving a commercial vehicle – .04
  • Drivers under 21 – .00

When a driver is charged with driving while impaired in North Carolina, certain factors will either aggravate or mitigate the type of punishment that is issued following second and third DWI instances. 

Some of the aggravating and mitigating factors that influence punishment are as follows:

GROSSLY AGGRAVATING

If a factor is defined to be “grossly aggravating” it means that it will count against the driver who was charged.

  • There being a minor in the vehicle at the time of the offense
  • Previous DWI offenses within the last 7 years
  • Serious injury of another person occurred as a result of the drivers impaired state
  • Driving without a license that was revoked due to an impaired driving offense

AGGRAVATING

Although generally, aggravating factors are considered to be not as serious, these factors can potentially contribute to the offense being higher-level or more serious. 

  • Accidents that occurred as a result of negligence on the behalf of the driver
  • The drivers BAC was .15 or greater
  • Exceptionally dangerous behavior while driving or operating a vehicle
  • Eluding law enforcement or fleeing the scene of an investigation

MITIGATING


Certain factors are classified as mitigating when they work in the favor of the driver who was charged. When there is an absence of aggravating or grossly aggravating factors in the case, these factors can be taken into consideration by the judge and can ultimately contribute to a reduction in the level of sentencing for impaired driving charges if the driver ends up being convicted.

  • It can be proven that the drivers impairment was due to a prescribed medication
  • Clean driving record for the last 5 years
  • The drivers BAC at the time of your stop was not above .09 (If 21 or older)
  • Voluntary submission to a DWI Assessment after being charged and, if recommended, participation in the recommended treatment
  • Drivers voluntarily participating in a treatment program

DEFENSES AVAILABLE FOR YOUR DUI CASE

Following a second or third DWI, it is of the utmost importance that you contact an experienced Greensboro, NC DWI lawyer. A lawyer will work to understand the details of the case and then create a defense strategy. They will explore every potential defense that pertains to the case. 

Some of the most common defenses include the following:

  • The viability and presence of a probable cause for an arrest
  • Traffic stop legality
  • Testing machine condition and maintenance
  • Whether the arresting officer was certified to use the breath test machine
  • Blood drawing procedures

Know Your Rights During a Traffic Stop


One of the most common ways that drivers end up getting arrested for DWI is because of traffic stops. Traffic stops by police are the most common way that people interact with law enforcement.
These stops are not announced and often take drivers by surprise. It is important to understand what to do during a traffic stop so that you do not accidentally get yourself in trouble. A police officer will not hesitate to use your statements and actions against you, so you need to be careful and be mindful of your conduct during a traffic stop. The common nature of these traffic stops means that it is important for people to understand what their traffic stop rights are, as well as what qualifies as a justifiable stop. Should it be determined that the traffic stop that resulted in drunk driving charges was illegal, the charges themselves will likely be dismissed. This is why if you are facing DWI charges, you should have a DWI lawyer in Greensboro, NC advocating for you.  

A Person’s Rights During a Traffic Stop


The two most important rights that people have during traffic stops are the right to remain silent and the right to refuse to consent to a search of their vehicle.
If you are not sure what exactly to say during a traffic stop or think that your statements may not help your case, it is better to remain silent. You do not want to accidentally say the wrong thing. You can always wait until you can meet with a lawyer to discuss the details of your argument. The right to remain silent allows a person to refuse to answer questions the officer poses, such as “Do you know why I pulled you over?” or “Where were you heading tonight?” However, there is a practical component to this right.

Cooperation with the officer can make the traffic stop smoother and more painless, so the extent to which a person benefits from exercising this right may vary. Staying silent does come with consequences, as an officer may not appreciate you exercising your right to stay silent, and they might choose a more aggressive line of questioning. Furthermore, the right does not extend to refusing to supply a driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration if the officer asks for it.

The right not to consent to a search of the vehicle is another important right that arises commonly during traffic stops. Though police may ask for permission to search the vehicle, a driver is not required to give it. Importantly, this may not stop them from searching the car. If the police believe that they have probable cause to search the vehicle, then they can perform a warrantless search. However, it is easier for a Greensboro, NC DWI lawyer to get the court to exclude evidence from the case if the police found it in a warrantless search, rather than in a search to which the person consented. This is a strong advantage to have and can increase the chances of your case’s success. Keep this in mind the next time you are approached by a police officer during a traffic stop. 

The right to refuse a search also has interesting implications for breathalyzer testing. North Carolina has something known as an “implied consent law,” which basically states that a person automatically consents to DWI testing based on probable cause as a condition of receiving their license. While a person could still refuse a test, this would result in an administrative suspension of their license, and it may not actually help prevent a DWI conviction. Remember that while you do have the right to refuse a test, it can still come with consequences.

Justifiable Traffic Stops


A Greensboro, NC DWI lawyer knows that even before the traffic stop actually occurs, people’s constitutional rights come into play. This is because a traffic stop qualifies as a seizure, which means that Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure apply. Consequently, the police may not stop a person without “specific and articulable facts” that give rise to a reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct. These facts can be things like traffic violations, missing license plates, or erratic behavior. Even anonymous tips called into the police can qualify in certain circumstances.

Contact Our Law Firm Now


If you or someone you care about was recently arrested, we urge you to call us now for assistance. Trust us when we say that a possible criminal conviction is not something you want to handle without reputable legal representation. A DWI lawyer in Greensboro, North Carolina from
Garrett, Walker, Aycoth, & Olson, Attorneys at Law, PLLC is ready to speak with you today

WHAT DO I DO IF I’M CHARGED WITH A DWI?

Being charged with Driving While Impaired does not define you.  An initial charge is the beginning of a process, and your first step is to find an attorney who will hold the State to the highest standard of evidence, and who will prepare your case for trial.  It is vital to become educated on every aspect of a DWI, from the initial appearance through potential collateral consequences.  This is the most impactful event of your life, be wary of being told what you want to hear, and instead seek counsel on the impact a DWI charge may have on both your present and future prosperity.  This incident will not prevent you from being your best self, so move forward with confidence that, with proper counsel, you will navigate this process successfully.  The DWI attorneys at Garrett, Walker, Aycoth & Olson are on your side.

It goes without saying that the ultimate goal is a complete dismissal of the DWI.  Despite the legislature and political judges, your DWI lawyer in Greensboro is still here to win your trial, protect your freedom, and restore your license.  Discouraging legal restrictions simply reinvigorate true trial attorneys.  You can be confident we will fight for you.

Your confidence also extends to your trust that we will always tell you the truth about both the facts and the law.  It is negligent to hide unfavorable information, and we are committed to tell you the good and the bad, as we want you to be our equal partner in the defense of your freedom.

HOW CAN AN ATTORNEY HELP ME WITH MY DWI?

How can a DWI Attorney help you with your DWI charge is the most important factor in your case.  Even more important than winning or losing the DWI, you must be assured that you will never look back and wonder what if?  What if I had asked this question?  What if we had tried this strategy?  Proficient trial attorneys will explore, and relate back to you, every aspect of your case.  Trial strategy begins with learning everything you can about DWI law and court process, and continues in the courtroom, with a thorough investigation of the officer’s notes, memory, paperwork, video, and testing procedures.  Officers are professional witnesses, they do not like to lose in court, and certainly bring their own prejudices and bias to their work.  Their testimony, along with the objective evidence, must be studied, and every defense must be considered.

WHY WAS I CHARGED WITH A DWI?

A DWI, or Driving While Impaired, as defined by N.C.G.S. 20-138., is a misdemeanor.  In order to convict you of a DWI the prosecutor must prove three elements beyond a reasonable doubt.

1)  Driving or operating a vehicle

2)  On a public street or highway, or area open to vehicular traffic,

3)  While under the influence of an impairing substance; or having, at any relevant time after driving, a blood alcohol concentration of .08% of more; or, with any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance (listed in N.C.G.S. 90-89), or its metabolites in their blood or urine.

Remember, if these elements did not exist on some level, they could not charge you in the first place.  Do not be discouraged if the facts of your case match the elements, as it is deeper, Constitutional issues that the best trial lawyers explore.

HOW DO I WIN MY DWI CASE?

Trials begin and end with reasonable doubt, a standard of proof afforded to you by the Constitution of both the United States and North Carolina.  The State has to prove every element of the misdemeanor charge beyond a reasonable doubt.  Additionally, they must worry about statutory violations and weaknesses in the officer’s factual presentation, all of which a skilled Greensboro DWI attorney can take advantage of.

The first challenge begins with the officer’s reasonable suspicion, or lack thereof, in initiating the stop or first contact.  The second, and most essential stage, is assessing and challenging the officer’s formation of probable cause to arrest.  Finally, the technical aspects of the arrest and the testing procedures should be questioned.  No stone should be unturned, no defense unevaluated, when it comes to protecting you from the draconian consequences of a DWI conviction.

No matter how positive or negative the facts of your case may seem at first, never give up without a through, complete evaluation of the entirely of the State’s evidence.  Never let anyone give you negative “odds” of prevailing in court, those are for salesman and snake charmers.  You must partner with a Greensboro DWI Lawyer, and seek your answers through hard work, investigation, honest evaluation and Constitutional experience.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I’M CONVICTED OF A DWI?

If convicted of a DWI, you must first determine the potential consequences.  Potential punishment is determined by assigning you to a Level of Punishment.  DWIs are punished at levels 5,4,3,2,1 and Aggravated Level One (A1), with a Level 5 being the lowest possible consequence, and A1 the highest. Below we have a chart which breaks down the factors that effect punishment levels for DWI’s and our DWI attorney goes through the nuances of how those factors effect your DWI level.

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT DWI PUNISHMENT I’LL FACE?

DWI punishment levels are determined by weighing mitigating factors (good things), aggravating factors (bad things) and grossly aggravating factors (really bad things).

The absolute best situation is if no grossly aggravating factors exist.  In those circumstances, the lower level punishments, Levels 3, 4 or 5, which do not have an absolute requirement of jail time, would be imposed.  A judge will then weigh the aggravating factors verse the mitigating factors to determine punishment levels.  If the aggravating factors substantially outweigh the mitigating factors, then Level Three punishment is imposed under N.C.G.S. 20-179(i).  If the aggravating factors are substantially counterbalanced by the mitigating factors, or if there are no aggravating or mitigating factors present, then Level Four punishment, N.C.G.S. 20-179(j), is appropriate.  Level Five punishment, N.C.G.S. 20-179(k), is applicable when the judge determines that the mitigating factors outweigh any aggravating factors.

If three or more grossly aggravating factors are found, then the Aggravated Level One punishment must be imposed under N.C.G.S. 20-179(f3).  Two or more grossly aggravating factors, or one grossly aggravating factor under 20-179(c4), having someone under 18, with a mental capacity of an individual under 18, or a person unable to exit the vehicle unaided, would mandate a Level One punishment under N.C.G.S. 20-179(g), and the existence of only one grossly aggravating factor imposes a Level Two punishment under N.C.G.S. 20-179(h).

Judges look for these factors:

Grossly Aggravating Factors
I. Prior DWI conviction within the preceding seven years
II. DWLR under G.S. 20-28 for an impaired driving offense
III. Serious injury to another
IV. Child under 18, or person with mental development of child under 18, or a person with physical disability preventing (unaided) exit from the vehicle or the car at the time of the offense (If grossly aggravating factor number 4 is present, the defendant is automatically sentenced as a Level 1.)
Aggravating Factors
I. Gross impairment (.15 or above)
II. Especially reckless and dangerous driving
III. Negligent driving leading to a reportable car accident
IV. Two or more prior convictions for three-point driving offenses within the preceding five years
V. Prior impaired driving conviction more than seven years prior
VI. Conviction of any speed to elude, driving more than 30 mph over the speed limit or passing a stopped school bus
VII. Any other factor that aggravates the seriousness of the offense
Mitigating Factors
I. Slight impairment (.09 or less)
II. Safe and lawful driving at the time of offense
III. Statutory safe driving record (no driving offenses for which at least four points are assigned within five years of offense)
IV. Impairment by lawfully prescribed drugs within prescribed dosage
V. Voluntary submission to alcohol assessment and participation in recommended treatment
VI. Any other factor that mitigates the seriousness of the offense

If convicted, the Judge will adjudicate you at one of the DWI sentencing levels below, and you may be subject to either the prescribed minimum and maximum punishments.

LEVEL A1 – Three Grossly Aggravating Factors

o   Fine up to $10,000

o   Minimum of 12 months, maximum of 36 months active jail time; not eligible for parole; shall be released four months less the maximum Post Release Supervision, with four months of alcohol abstention, verified by a continuous alcohol monitoring system May be suspended upon 120 days minimum active sentence, with four months minimum to maximum of probation term of alcohol abstention, verified by a continuous alcohol monitoring system

o   Substance Abuse Assessment and recommended Education or Treatment

o   Any combination of these conditions, any other conditions of probation

LEVEL 1 – Two Grossly Aggravating Factors, or One Grossly Aggravating Factor Under N.C.G.S. § 20-179(c)(4)

o   Fine up to $4,000

o   Active jail time of not more than 24 months 
(may be suspended)

o   Supervised or Unsupervised Probation

o   30 days minimum active jail time, or 10 
days active jail sentence, with 120 days of alcohol abstention, verified by a CAM device (up to 60 days pretrial credit allowed)

o   Substance Abuse Assessment and recommended Education or Treatment

o   Any combination of these conditions, and any other conditions of probation, including CAM up to maximum probation term 
LEVEL 2 – One Grossly Aggravating Factor

LEVEL 2 – One Grossly Aggravating Factor

o   Fine up to $2,000

o   Active jail time of not more than 12 months 
(may be suspended)

o   Supervised or Unsupervised Probation

o   Seven days minimum active jail time, or 90 continuous days of alcohol abstention, verified by a CAM device (up to 60 days pretrial credit allowed); 240 hours of community service, if all active time is suspended (subject to alcohol abstention verified by CAM) and one of the grossly aggravating factors was either a prior DWI conviction occurring within five years of current offense date, or DWLR for impaired driving

o   Substance Abuse Assessment and recommended Education or Treatment
Any combination of these conditions, and any other conditions of probation, including CAM up to maximum probation term

LEVEL 3 – Aggravating Factors > Mitigating Factors

o   Fine up to $1,000

o   Active jail time of not more than six months (may be suspended)

o   Supervised or Unsupervised Probation

o   72 hours minimum active jail time, or 72 hours community service

o   Substance Abuse Assessment and recommended Education or Treatment

o   Any combination of these conditions, and any other conditions of probation

LEVEL 4 – Aggravating Factors = Mitigating Factors, or No Factors Present

o   Fine up to $500

o   Active jail time of not more than 120 days (may be suspended)

o   Supervised or Unsupervised Probation

o   48 hours active jail time, or 48 hours community service

o   Substance Abuse Assessment and recommended

o   Education or Treatment

o   Any combination of these conditions, and any other conditions of probation

LEVEL 5 – Mitigating Factors > Aggravating Factors

o   Fine up to $200

o   Active jail time of not more than 60 days 
(may be suspended)

o   Supervised or Unsupervised Probation

o   24 hours minimum active jail time, or 24 
hours minimum community service

o   Substance Abuse Assessment and recommended 
Education or Treatment

o   Any combination of these conditions, and any other conditions of probation

It is advisable to counsel clients that they may be sentenced, Assuming no grossly aggravating factors, you would be sentenced as a  Level 3, 4 or 5.  The most daunting thing to remember, however, is that sentencing judges retain tremendous discretion.  The minimums and maximums even within the individual sentencing levels themselves is immense, as even a Level 5, the lowest possible sentence, could result in either community service, or 60 days in jail, vastly different outcomes.

Other potential punishments to consider include:

o   Unlawful to Drive for One Year Upon Streets and Highways of North Carolina (Court Ordered)

o   DMV Revocation or Restrictions (DMV Required) + Potential License Revocation Fee(s)

o   Civil Revocation ($100) (Refusal, .08 BAC or Above, Breath or Blood, .04 Commercial Vehicle, or any alcohol if under 21)

o   Civil Revocation of CDLs (One Year from Civil Revocation Date)

o   Court Cost + Fine + Mandated $100 DWI Fee
 Jail Fee ($40 Daily Post-Trial)

o   Second DWI Conviction Requires an Ignition Interlock to Be Installed

o   Inpatient Treatment Cost
Restitution
SBI Blood Test Fee ($600)

o   Community Service Fee ($250)

o   Continuous Alcohol Monitoring System ($75 Installation + $12 Per Day, Average) Allowed for any DWI Conviction

o   FTA Fee ($200)
Driving Privilege Fee ($100, Pre & Post-Trial

o   Ignition Interlock (365 days w/ a Valid License or Privilege) (Typically $190 Installation plus two Months, $60 a Month)

o   Insurance (12 Points on License, Up To a 400% Surcharge)

WHAT ELSE CAN A DWI CONVICTION DO TO ME?

The collateral consequences of a DWI conviction is as important as the statutory punishments.  License revocations and restorations burdens, insurance costs, and the restrictions of rights and freedoms while serving probationary sentences may concern you even more so than potential jail time.  Counseling you about potential penalties should you reoffend is equally important to protect your future.

CAN A DWI REVOKE MY LICENSE?

To understand license revocations begin and end with the understanding that impaired driving is governed by the concept of “implied consent.”  Implied consent is a concept governing the privilege to drive in North Carolina.  By driving, you implicitly agree to a chemical analysis if charged with an implied consent offense, such as impaired driving.  Blood or breath tests can be refused; however the DMV may then revoke your license for a year.  Police officers may also apply for a search warrant to obtain the blood as evidence in spite of the refusal.

If you refuse, or if the breath or blood test results in .08 or more (or .04 if operating a commercial vehicle, or .01 if under 21 years of age), then your license will be revoked for at least thirty days, or forty-five days if surrendered more than five working days after the effective order, or the license is picked up by service of a pick-up order.  This is called a civil revocation.  The civil revocation remains in place indefinitely, if the civil revocation fee is not paid.

WHAT IF I HAVE A CDL LICENSE AND GET CHARGED WITH A DWI?

If faced with a civil revocation, a CDL license will be revoked for one year.  A 
hearing is allowed to contest the civil revocation before a magistrate or district court judge (§ 20-16.5(g)), but the request must be in writing at the time of initial appearance, or within 10 days of the effective date of the revocation. A subsequent hearing is required to be conducted within three working days if by magistrate, and within five working days if requesting a district court judge.

HOW LONG WILL I LOSE MY LICENSE IF CONVICTED OF A DWI?

DWI convictions automatically result in a court ordered one year license revocation.  The DMV may take further action that results in a longer period, and may require specific conditions prior to full or partial restoration.

A refusal revocation is active for one year, effective on the 10th calendar day after the mailing of the revocation order.  A DMV hearing is allowed to challenge the refusal, but must request in writing prior to effective revocation date.

A second DWI conviction within three years of a prior conviction results is a revocation period of four years.  For this revocation no limited driving privilege is allowed, and DMV hearing is only allowed after two years. A conditional restoration may be allowed if the defendant is not, in the period of the revocation, been convicted of a motor vehicle offense, an alcoholic beverage control law offense, a drug law offense or any other criminal offense involving alcohol or drugs; and the defendant is not currently an excessive user of alcohol, drugs, or prescription drugs, or unlawful user of any controlled substance.  The applicant may voluntarily submit themselves to alcohol monitoring prior to restoration consideration (a system approved under 15A-1343.3, a period of 120 days or longer) to show that they are not a current user of alcohol.

A third offense, with the most recent being within five years, results in a permanent revocation.  No limited driving privilege is allowed, and a DMV hearing is only allowed after three years.  A conditional restoration may be allowed if the defendant has not, in the period of revocation, been convicted of a motor vehicle offense, an alcoholic beverage offense, a drug law offense, or any other criminal offense involving alcohol or drugs; and the defendant is not currently an excessive user of alcohol, drugs or prescription drugs, or an unlawful user of any controlled substance.  They may voluntarily submit themselves to continuous alcohol monitoring program prior to restoration consideration (a system approved under 15A-1343.3, a period of 120 days or longer).  The revocation period may be additionally shortened through a DMV hearing after two years if the applicant can show an additional requirement of no alcohol having been consumed for the preceding 12 months (while being monitored by an approved continuous alcohol device).

An Aggravated Level One conviction also results in a permanent revocation, with no limited driving privilege available, and no DMV hearing for three years.

Other restrictions may include a .04 or .00 maximum blood alcohol level restriction when driving (for second offense within three years), an ignition interlock (if .15 BAC or second conviction within seven years, or as a requirement of any conditional or extended restoration), and mandated submission to chemical analysis. Requirements remain in effect for three years, or for seven years if permanently revoked.

CAN I GET A DRIVING PRIVILEGE IF I HAVE A DWI? 

Limited driving privileges are available for most DWI convictions if sentenced at Level Three, Four or Five.  A judge has discretion, and may to sign or further restrict the privilege, even if eligible by law.

A limited driving privilege allows you drive for specific purposes, depending on the underlying conviction and facts thereof.  These purposes can include work-related travel, household maintenance, education, court-ordered assessment, education or treatment, court-ordered community service, and emergency medical treatment.  Limited driving privileges are predicated on the condition that the driver may not drive after consuming any alcohol or controlled substance, or having any alcohol or any controlled substance remaining in his or her body (unless lawfully obtained and taken in therapeutically appropriate amounts).

To check your eligibility for any type of driving privilege, the following factors must be presented to the court:  (1) that you had a valid license or a license expired less then a year at the time of offense, (2) no prior impaired driving convictions during the last seven years, (3) sentencing (if a post-conviction privilege) at a Level Three, Four or Five, (4) no impaired driving convictions or unresolved charges filed subsequent to the offense date, and (5) the you obtained a substance abuse assessment.  Individuals under 21 years of age are not eligible.

When applying for a privilege, in addition to the privilege itself, the court should be provided proof of (1) substance abuse assessment, (2) insurance, on a specific form called a DL-123, dated within 30 days of presentation, (3) a letter from an employer, if requesting nonstandard work hours (standard hours are Monday-Friday 6am-8pm), or, in self-employed, and affidavit stating such, and (4) if applicable, proof of installation of the ignition interlock device (required if the applicant’s BAC was .15 or above).  Many jurisdictions require a copy of the applicant’s driving record for review.  Pre-trial privileges require a prosecutor’s signature waiving the formal hearing, or the formal hearing itself.  A limited driving privilege is $100.

PRETRIAL PRIVILEGE

A pre-trial limited driving privilege is used during the period of civil revocation.  An individual’s license is revoked for 10 days (30-day revocation) or 30 days (45-day revocation).  Eligibility requires:

o   At the time of the offense, defendant held either a valid license or a license that had been expired for less than one year

o   Valid DL-123 dated within 30 days of privilege application

o   Substance abuse assessment obtained (§ 20- 17.6)

o   $100 fee (to the Clerk of Court; cash only)

o   Employment Letter (for an application requiring work hours outside of standard 
hours)

o   Does not have an unresolved pending charge 
involving impaired driving, except for the charge for which the license is currently revoked under this section, or additional impaired driving convictions since being charged for this violation.

o   Privilege expires at the end of the initial revocation period (cannot be extended)

o   For employment, maintenance of household, education, court-ordered treatment or assessment, community service ordered as a part of probation, and emergency medical care

POST CONVICTION PRIVILEGE

A post conviction limited driving privilege is used post-conviction, if the client is sentenced at Level Three, Four or Five.  Requirements include:

o   Valid DL-123 dated within 30 days of privilege application

o   Substance abuse assessment obtained (§ 20- 17.6)

o   
 
$100 fee (to the Clerk of Court; cash only)

o   Employment Letter (for an application requiring work hours outside of standard 
hours)

o   No prior impaired driving conviction within 
seven years

o   At the time of the offense, defendant held either a valid license or a license that had been expired for less than one year

o   Does not have an unresolved pending charge 
involving impaired driving, except for the charge for which the license is currently revoked under this section, or additional impaired driving convictions since being charged for this violation.

o   Privilege expires at the end of the initial revocation period (cannot be extended)

o   For employment, maintenance of household, education, court-ordered treatment or assessment, community service ordered as a part of probation, and emergency medical care

.15+ BAC (IGNITION INTERLOCK) PRIVILEGE

Categorized as “high risk drivers,” anyone with a blood alcohol level of .15 or above faces these restrictions and must fulfill these requirements to obtain a limited driving privilege:

o   Valid DL-123 dated within 30 days of Privilege Application
Substance abuse assessment obtained (§ 20- 17.6)

o   $100 fee (to the Clerk of Court; cash only) Employment Letter (for an application requiring work hours outside of standard hours)
Does not have an unresolved pending charge involving impaired driving, except the charge for which the license is currently revoked under this section, or additional impaired driving convictions since being charged for this violation.

o   Privilege expires at the end of the initial revocation period (cannot be extended)
For employment, maintenance of household, education, court-ordered treatment or assessment, community service ordered as a part of probation, and emergency medical care

o   Not effective until at least 45 days after the final conviction
Ignition interlock required for 365 days with a valid license or privilege

o   Driving restricted only to and from the applicant’s place of employment, the place where the applicant is enrolled in school, court-ordered treatment or substance abuse education or treatment, and any ignition interlock service facility (note: does not allow the defendant to drive for household maintenance, community service, or during work or for work-related purposes)

REFUSAL LIMITED DRIVING PRIVILEGE

Refusal revocations may be mitigated through the use of a limited driving privilege, with these stipulations:

o   At the time of the refusal, no prior willful 
refusals within preceding seven years

o   The underlying charge did not involve death 
or critical injury to another

o   The defendant’s license has been revoked for 
at least six months for the refusal

o   Substance abuse assessment obtained (§ 20-17.6) and recommended education or treatment has 
been completed

o   Underlying offense disposed of either by 
means other than conviction, or by a Level 3, 4 or 5 punishment, and at least one of the mandatory conditions of probation has been complied with (substance abuse assessment and treatment).

o   At the time of the offense, defendant held either a valid license or a license that had been expired for less than one year

o   Valid DL-123 dated within 30 days of privilege application

o   Substance abuse assessment obtained (§ 20- 17.6)

o   $100 fee (to the Clerk of Court; cash only)

o   Employment Letter (for an application requiring work hours outside of standard 
hours)

o   Does not have an unresolved pending charge 
involving impaired driving, except for the charge for which the license is currently revoked under this section, or additional impaired driving convictions since being charged for this violation.

WHAT CAN I DO IF I’M CHARGED WITH A DWI?

The best thing to do if charged with a DWI is to call our DUI lawyers in Greensboro immediately.  We potentially can get you driving again, and restore normalcy.  We can properly advise you of the true nature of a DWI, and suspend the stress caused by rumors and faulty internet searches.  Remember, we are here to help, and we are confident we can.