Driving While Impaired

If you are charged with Driving While Impaired, you need effective and experienced representation. Driving While Impaired will usually cause an initial thirty-day civil revocation. You may be eligible for a pre-trial privilege after the initial ten days of the revocation. Once the thirty days has elapsed, you may be eligible to get your license back by going to the clerk’s office and paying a reinstatement fee. You are eligible to drive unless or until you are actually convicted of driving while impaired. However, if you refused a chemical test, your license to drive will be revoked even if you are not convicted the charge and you have a limited time period to challenge the revocation once notice is sent to you. It is important that your mailing address on your license is your actual mailing address because the NC Department of Motor Vehicles will send notices to the address on your license. It does not matter if you actually receive the notice or not. The statute is written in a way that it only matters that the notice was sent.

Every judge takes driving while impaired seriously and the statutes of North Carolina set out the punishment in great detail. There are different levels for sentencing, which can range for 24 hours of community of service (at a minimum) to 2 years in prison. It is important to know if you have had a prior conviction or suspension due to an alcohol related incident. This factor along with several others will greatly increase your punishment.

North Carolina currently uses the EC-IR-II, which replaced the Intoxilyzer 5000. Many people still refer to the machine that performs the test as the intoxilyzer. Some people refer to it as the Breathalyzer. It is the machine you blow into once you have been advised of certain statutory rights. It is usually at the jail or sheriff’s office but they can be mobile at certain checkpoints. It is not the handheld device that you blow into on the side of the road. The hand-held device is the alcosensor, which is used to determine probable cause for the arrest, and the specific results are not usually admitted into evidence in North Carolina. If the reported results of the EC-IR-II or blood results are .15 or higher and you are convicted, you will have to have an interlock device placed on your vehicle to drive under a limited driving privilege if you are convicted and qualify to receive a limited driving privilege. Currently, the only vendor for the interlock device is Monitech. You can get information about them at www.monitechnc.com.