What are the penalties for DWI in North Carolina?

The Penalties for a DWI in North Carolina include:

Level 1 Penalties:

  • Fines: Up to $4,000,
  • Jail Time: 30 days- 2 years (the term of imprisonment may be suspended only if a condition of special probation is imposed to require the defendant to serve a term of imprisonment of at least 30 days.),
  • Possible Probation (if you are placed on probation, the judge shall impose a requirement that the defendant obtain a substance abuse assessment and the education or treatment required by for the restoration of a drivers license and as a condition of probation),
  • Possible Alcohol Monitoring System 30-60 Days (as condition of probation),
  • Court Costs and Fees,
  • The judge may impose any other lawful condition of probation.

Level 2 Penalties:

  • Fines: Up to $2,000,

  • Jail Time: 7 days to 1 Year. (may be suspended see above),

  • Possible Probation (includes alcohol assessment and education program),

  • Possible Alcohol Monitoring System 30-60 Days (as condition of probation),

  • Court Costs and Fees, and

  • The judge may impose any other lawful condition of probation.

Level 3 Penalties:

  • Fines: Up to $1,000,

  • Jail Time: 72 hours to 6 Months (the term of imprisonment may be suspended)

    • However, the suspended sentence shall include the condition that the defendant be imprisoned for a term of at least 72 hours as a condition of special probation; or Perform community service for a term of at least 72 hours, or both,

  • Possible Probation (if you are placed on probation, the judge shall impose a requirement that the defendant obtain a substance abuse assessment and the education or treatment required by for the restoration of a drivers license and as a condition of probation),
  • Your license will be suspended for one year and you will generally be allowed a limited driving privilege, which allows you to drive to and from work, and
  • The judge may impose any other lawful condition of probation.

Level 4 Penalties:

  • Fines: Up to $500,

  • Jail Time: 48 hours to 120 days. The term of imprisonment may be suspended.

    • However, the suspended sentence shall include the condition that the defendant: Be imprisoned for a term of 48 hours as a condition of special probation, or Perform community service for a term of 48 hours or both.

  • Possible Probation (if you are placed on probation, the judge shall impose a requirement that the defendant obtain a substance abuse assessment and the education or treatment required by for the restoration of a drivers license and as a condition of probation),
  • 60-90 days suspended driver’s license, and
  • The judge may impose any other lawful condition of probation.

Level 5 Penalties:

  • Fines up to $200,

  • Jail Time: 24 hours to 60 days (the term of imprisonment may be suspended)

    • However, the suspended sentence shall include the condition that the defendant: Be imprisoned for a term of 24 hours as a condition of special probation or Perform community service for a term of 24 hours, or both,

  • Possible Probation (if you are placed on probation, the judge shall impose a requirement that the defendant obtain a substance abuse assessment and the education or treatment required by for the restoration of a drivers license and as a condition of probation),
  • 30 days suspended driver’s license, and
  • The judge may impose any other lawful condition of probation.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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