What is an administrative license suspension?
If you were arrested for DWI in the state of North Carolina you may be surprised to find out that you can face not only criminal penalties if you are convicted of DWI but also administrative penalties administered by the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
It is illegal in every state to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08% or higher. It is also illegal to operate a motorized vehicle with any amount of alcohol in your system if you are unable to safely do so.
What are Implied Consent laws?
According to North Carolina implied consent laws drivers may have their North Carolina driver’s license immediately suspended if they willfully refuse to consent to a chemical test after a DWI arrest or if they consent to the blood alcohol test (BAC) and their BAC is above the legal limit of 0.08% or higher.
A willful refusal or a test failure can lead to an immediate license suspension. The police officer at the scene can seizure your license immediately and the Clerk of Court will then forward a Notice of Suspension to the Department of Transportation of Motor Vehicles.
How long will my North Carolina license be suspended after DUI arrest?
As mentioned above, the administrative license suspension will result in an automatic license suspension for a chemical test refusal or failure. Statutes outlined by the DMV will determine the minimum compulsory time for a suspension. Drivers who have failed a chemical test during DUI stop may have their license suspended for 60 days. Drivers who refuse to submit to a chemical test will have their license suspended for one year.
How do I get my North Carolina license back?
The administrative license suspensions will be enforced even if you are not ultimately convicted of DUI. If the DMV takes administrative action against you and suspends your North Carolina license you will have to complete specific requirements outlined by the DMV to reinstate your license.
- Take all the necessary alcohol and substance abuse classes required.
- Pay the required fines and fees which include a $100 reinstatement fee if your license was suspended or revoked for DUI.
Unfortunately, according to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles website the reinstatement for a DUI cannot be completed online so you will have to contact the DMV for all questions. They can be contacted during normal business hours (Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm) at 919-715-7000.
Other considerations after North Carolina DUI Arrest
Drivers may challenge a North Caroline administrative license suspension, but it must be done within 10 days from the date of the DWI arrest. Drivers can hire a DWI lawyer to represent them at the administrative hearing and challenge how the arrest was conducted. Failure to challenge the administrative hearing will result in the maximum license suspension allowed by law.
Keep in mind if you are eventually convicted of DWI you might face additional penalties and fines in addition to the civil penalties imposed by the North Carolina DMV.
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