Licenses and Driving Privileges After DWI Charge And Conviction

One of the most pressing issues for many people, and one of the most immediate stressors of a DWI charge they experience, is the loss of their license.  “How and I supposed to get to work?” is one of the first questions that we hear.  You suffer revocation of your license for 30 days.  This is shocking to most of our clients. Unfortunately, this is required under North Carolina law.

How to Get the License Returned

The state does not automatically restore your license after 30 days.  Instead, you must pay $100 to get it back.  If you don’t pay the fee and make an effort to retrieve your license, your license is not automatically reinstated.  You have to take the step of actually paying the fee and picking up the license.  If you fail to get your license restore and continue to drive, you are running a huge risk.

If you hire our firm, then we will be glad to go over and pay the fee for you, and pick up your license.  We can either mail the license to you, or you can drop by our office an pick it up.  However, there is a bright spot in all of this, because in some cases we may be able to get your license returned to you within a few days by requesting a hearing on the revocation.  The license is restored with no limitations if we win the hearing.  In addition, you would not have to pay the $100 fee.

But what if the hearing is not successful and you need to be able to drive before the 30 days are up?  After 10 days, most people are able to apply for a Limited Driving Privilege.  This will allow them to drive to go to work or school, and to maintain their household.  Standard hours are from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.  If you need to be able to drive to work or school outside of these hours, you will need a signed letter on letterhead from your employer or school, stating when you need to be available to come in to work or class.

How to Get a Driving Privilege

So what do you need to get a driving privilege?  You must supply a DL-123, which is a form you can get from your insurance company.  It states that you currently have auto insurance.  You also need an affidavit, which our office can prepare for you if you hire us.  We can prepare the petition and the Limited Driving Privilege for the judge to sign.  You will also need a substance abuse assessment.

You can set up an appointment with one of many local providers.  We can recommend ones that you may want to consider.  This typically lasts an hour or less.  After you complete the interview process, they can provide you with a recommended level of treatment.  The petition presented to the judge must include this assessment.  This is presented to an Assistant District Attorney.  We appear before the judge and request a Limited Driving Privilege for our clients.

This Limited Driving Privilege is valid for 20 days.  Since you have to wait 10 days to get the Privilege, by the time the Privilege has expired, the 30 day suspension has ended, and you are eligible to get your license back.

Post Conviction Suspension

After the 30 day suspension is over, whether through waiting and paying the fee or winning the hearing, you keep your license unless you are convicted.  If you are convicted and it is your first conviction, you will lose your license for one year.  If your blood alcohol content was below .15, you would be eligible for a Limited Driving Privilege immediately.  When blood alcohol content is .15 or greater, however, then you will have to wait 45 days to be eligible to get your Limited Driving Privilege.  When you apply for the Privilege, you also require a sheet that shows that you have Ignition Interlock installed on your car.

There can be more complications in your individual case than those covered here.  To get a full explanation for your particular circumstances, we would need to learn more about your case.  If you would like to consult with us, give us a call and we would be glad to help.