dwiThe range of punishment for DWI conviction in North Carolina varies significantly. A first time low-level offense will be treated much differently by the court than a second offense or a high BAC offense. It is important to contact an attorney immediately if you have been charged with a DWI so that you can get the best help for your license and start fighting your case.

In North Carolina there are five levels of a DWI conviction. Level 5 being the least serious and level 1 being the most serious.

LEVEL 5: Punishable by a fine up to $200 and a minimum jail sentence of 24 hours and a maximum of 60 days. A judge can suspend the sentence but upon completion that the driver spend 24 hours in jail or performs 24 hours of community service.

LEVEL 4: Punishable by a fine up to $500 and a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours and a maximum jail sentence of 120 days. A judge can suspend the sentence but upon completion that the driver spend 48 hours in jail or perform 48 hours of community.

LEVEL 3: Punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and a minimum jail sentence of 72 hours and maximum of six months. A judge can suspend the sentence only upon completion that the driver spend at least 72 hours in jail or perform 72 hours of community service.

LEVEL 2: Punishable by a fine up to $2,000 and a minimum jail sentence of seven days and a maximum of one year. A judge CANNOT suspend the minimum sentence.

LEVEL 1: Punishable by a fine up to $4,000 and a minimum jail sentence of 30 days and a maximum of two years. A judge CANNOT suspend the minimum sentence.

  • Level I and II drivers are repeat offenders, persons whose license are revoked, impaired drivers who are transporting young children and impaired drivers who hurt someone in a crash. Impaired drivers must complete a substance abuse assessment and comply with any recommended treatment in order to have their license restored at the end of the revocation period.

DWI Drugs: A person commits a DWI if he or she drives while under the influence of an impairing substance or with any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance or its metabolites in his blood or urine.

Schedule I drugs include: heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.

Impairing substances include: cocaine, methamphetamines, certain prescription drugs with or without a valid prescription, and methadone.

  • Actual impairment is not an element of the offense. Marijuana metabolites, which isn’t a Schedule I offense in North Carolina, can be detected in a person’s body up to one month after use, thus it is possible to be convicted of this type of DUI days after a person last used marijuana even though it isn’t a Schedule I drug in North Carolina. If you have been arrested in this type of an offense an Attorney can help fight this issue in court, as it is fundamentally unfair.

OUI: North Carolina law prohibits anyone from boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes operating any boat, sailboat, personal watercraft, water skis, a surfboard, or similar device while under the influence. Alcohol and drugs cause impaired balance, blurred vision, poor coordination, impaired judgment, and slower reaction time. Alcohol is a major contributor to boating accidents and fatalities.

  • You are considered to be boating while under the influence of alcohol if your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or greater.
  • Significant fines and, in some cases, jail time can result if you are arrested and convicted for boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • OUI law is a very specialized field of DWI law. Contact an attorney if you have been ticketed for this type of offense.