Am I going to be able to drive again? | DUI Laws | Raleigh Durham NC | Greensboro

Am I going to be able to drive again?

This is the most frequently asked question as a North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney and typically the most worrisome to almost all those who have been charged with a DWI/DUI in North Carolina. The most simple answer is that yes, you more likely than not will be able to drive again. Once you were arrested for DWI/DUI, your license was probably confiscated by the arresting officer. If you have been charged with Driving While Impaired/Driving Under the Influence (DWI/DUI) in North Carolina, then you are subject to a 30-day civil revocation, the first 10 days of which you are ineligible to drive under any circumstances. After 10 days, in most circumstances you can obtain a pretrial limited driving privilege which is valid for 20 days. A limited driving privilege is a court order signed by a judge that will typically allow you to drive during normal working hours, the drug/alcohol treatments, and for household maintenance. You may be able to obtain permission to drive at odd hours if your job requires if the court is provided with the proper documentation.

In order to be eligible for the pre-trial limited driving privilege:

  • You must have had a valid driver’s license at the time of the arrest, or have had a license that was expired by less than one year.
  • You must not have had any other pending driving while impaired or driving under the influence charges at the time of arrest.
  • You must have proof of insurance.
  • You cannot be under revocation for any other reason.
  • The accused must obtain a pretrial substance abuse assessment from a qualified mental health facility and be registered for or agree to participate in any recommended treatment.
  • You must pay $100.00 to the Clerk of the Court in the county in which you were charged.

After the 30 Day Civil Revocation has expired, you may obtain your driver’s license back from the state of North Carolina and from that point until either conviction or a verdict of not-guilty is entered, you will have full driving privileges. In order to obtain your license after the 30-Day Civil Revocation, you or your attorney must pay $50.00 to the Clerk of Court in the county in which you were charged and at that time you will be given your license. If you are found guilty of Driving While Intoxicated/Driving Under the Influence (DWI/DUI) in North Carolina, you will have your license suspended for a minimum of one year. Notwithstanding certain aggravating factors, you will immediately be eligible for Limited Driving Privileges and oftentimes the privilege can be granted on the day of your conviction so that you don’t ever completely lose driving privileges outside the total bar that exists for the first ten days after arrest.

Of course everything changes if you cause a car accident or serious injuries while driving drunk.