There are several DWI bills pending in the North Carolina legislature that could potentially change DWI laws. Two of the biggest changes deal with Habitual DWI and for a .00 Blood Alcohol Concentration requirement while driving after the license is restored after a DWI conviction.
DWI Bills Pending in Legislature
Currently, for a person to be convicted of DWI, they have to have three convictions for DWI within the past ten years. If the person is arrested for a fourth DWI, then the charge is elevated to a felony called Habitual DWI. There is a bill pending in the legislature that would reduce the number of prior DWIs to just two. Thus, if the person had two DWIs within the past two years, then they would face a felony (Habitual DWI). As a result, this new law would “broaden the net” for people arrested for Habitual DWI. While not many people have three convictions for DWI within the past ten years. There are a surprising number of people who have two DWIs in the past ten years. Hence, all of these people could be facing a felony if they are arrested for DWI again.
The second major bill pending affecting DWI cases restricts every person convicted of DWI to a BAC of .00. In addition, those who have ignition interlock installed would have to get the .00 set up for the device. While this will be a huge headache, it will hopefully deter people from driving after consuming any alcohol. If not, the consequences will be even more harsh.
While pending, these bills have not passed to become law yet. Furthermore, if the Habitual DWI law is passed, it will not take effect for those offenses occurring before December 1st, 2015. And finally, if the .00 restriction is passed, it would apply only to offenses on or after July 1st, 2016.