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What are the penalties for a first-time DWI in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2021 | criminal defense

During the last few weeks, many Asheville residents have celebrated the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. As part of that, they may have had a few festive drinks – maybe some spiced eggnog or hot buttered rum or mulled wine.

If you were one of those who went to a small gathering, drank a little more than you should have and then ended up facing a first-time drunk driving charge, you may be wondering what penalties you’ll face with a conviction.

In North Carolina, a first-time DWI (driving while impaired) offense can include the following consequences:

  • Paying a $200 fine
  • Spending between 24 hours and 60 days in jail
  • Losing your driver’s license for 30 days
  • Logging 24 hours of community service

A second DWI offense can lead to these consequences:

  • Paying a $500 fine
  • Spending between 48 hours and 120 days in jail
  • Losing your driver’s license for 60 days
  • Logging 48 hours of community service

A third DWI conviction can result in:

  • Paying a $1,000 fine
  • Spending between 72 hours and six months in jail
  • Losing your driver’s license for 90 days
  • Logging 72 hours of community service

Any repeat DWI offender who has more than three convictions will face felony drunk driving charges. Also, drivers under 21 who register .02 blood alcohol content will immediately have their driver’s license revoked for at least 30 days before their trial. They also can have their driver’s license suspended for up to a year.

If you are facing DWI charges, you should consult with an experienced Ashville criminal defense attorney. An attorney can review your case and see if you could get your DWI charges reduced or dismissed and present your best defense against the charges.

You want to avoid receiving a drunk driving conviction if you can. A DWI conviction doesn’t just come with legal consequences. A DWI conviction also could hinder your future employment options and result in you paying increased auto insurance premiums for a while too.