It is illegal in North Carolina to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. It is also illegal to operate a motorized vehicle with any level of alcohol in your system if you are unable to do so safely. So, what happens if you are arrested for drunk driving in North Carolina? You will face serious fines and penalties if you are convicted, and a potential administrative license suspension even if you are not convicted.
How much will I pay in fees and penalties for my North Carolina DUI?
Costs are an interesting thing to quantify. Not only do you have the costs of your time, but you also have your reputation, your job and your family to consider. If you are arrested for drunk driving there is a consequence and costs for everyone.
From a purely monetary perspective, however, you are facing a fine up to $500 and a potential installation of an ignition interlock device (if your BAC is greater than 0.15%). Drivers facing a second DUI conviction will face a possible fine of $1,000 and payment for the mandatory substance abuse assessment.
These are the most basic fines and penalties. Drivers who are arrested with aggravating factors (without a license, speeding or eluding arrest, passing a school bus illegally, prior DUI convictions, causing an alcohol or high BAC) or with mitigating factors can face higher costs.
Additional Costs for Drunk Driving in North Carolina
Some drivers simply calculate the criminal fines and penalties for a DUI. Unfortunately, there are additional costs often imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state to reinstate a driver’s license. For instance, there is not only a license reinstatement fee (in most states) but also the mandatory purchases of SR22 insurance which is another monthly cost.
Additionally, several states have started charging DUI offenders an annual DUI surcharge. For instance, in the state of Texas drivers are charged a conviction-based surcharge for criminal traffic offenses for three years for the same DUI offense.
Hiring a DUI lawyer in North Carolina
By far the most expensive cost of a DUI is hiring a DUI lawyer. It is hard to give estimates for hiring a DUI lawyer because even in the state of North Caroline the fee range varies considerably.
For instance, fees can be based on where the attorney practices, the skill level of the lawyer, whether the driver is charged with a misdemeanor or felony, the driver’s prior DUI convictions, whether the case is going to trial or not, the costs for independent blood analysis, witness fees, or filing extra paperwork. The amount of time the DUI lawyer will have to devote to the case will also factor into the cost estimates.
So, if you decide to hire a DUI lawyer you could expect to pay anywhere from $750 up to $10,000 or more. Obviously, you can fight the DUI charges on your own, and this may be the route you choose, but if you are a multiple DUI offender, if you have aggravating factors for your DUI arrest or you have a job that could be negatively impacted by a DUI conviction, you need to talk to a North Carolina DUI lawyer.
- Drunk Driving- What are the penalties for third DUI? (duiattorneyhome.com)
- Georgia DUI – Look Back Laws for Drunk Driving (duiattorneyhome.com)
- DUI costs and can I keep my driver’s license? (duiattorneyhome.com)
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