North Carolina DUI State Law

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North Carolina DUI Laws

North Carolina Implied Consent
1st Offense DUI Penalties
2nd Offense DUI Penalties
3rd Offense DUI Penalties
4th Offense DUI Penalties

North Carolina DUI laws can be very strict and they do require immediate action on your part if you hope to fight them. With the aid of a North Carolina DUI lawyer, you will be able to file a claim for a hearing, which may help you to get the charges dropped or reduced. If not, your license could be immediately suspended.

North Carolina Blood Alcohol Concentration Levels

Under North Carolina DUI laws, there are two ways that a police officer can arrest you and charge you with DUI.

  • You can be arrested under "appreciable impairment" circumstances. No chemical test is required. If you fail field sobriety tests or your physical appearance, driving pattern or other conditions imply you are legally intoxicated, you will be charged.
  • If you fail a chemical test, you will be charged.

Under North Carolina DUI laws, a BAC Level of .08 percent warrants prosecution. More so, if you have a HIGH BAC, at .16 or higher, you could face enhanced penalties. Judges may impose higher fines as well as require an ignition interlock device to be placed on your vehicle.

Implied Consent Laws

In North Carolina, operating a vehicle on the roadways means you agree to the state's implied consent laws. Under these laws, a police officer may request a chemical test if he or she suspects you are under the influence. If you refuse a chemical test, you will face immediate suspension of your driver's license for 30 days. A hearing will determine if your license should be suspended another 12 months or not.

1st Offense of North Carolina DUI Laws

If you are convicted of a first offense of DUI laws, you are likely to face the following penalties:

  • Charged with a misdemeanor
  • Fines up to $2000
  • Up to 24 months in jail
  • Driver's license suspension for at least 1 year
  • No limited driver's license for at least 30 days

2nd Offense of North Carolina DUI Laws

The look back period for North Carolina DUI laws is 3 years. If you have a second conviction within three years of your first, you will face stiffer penalties, as a second offense.

  • You will be charged with a misdemeanor
  • Driver's license revocation for a mandatory 4 years
  • Up to $2000 fine
  • Up to 24 months in jail

3rd Offense of North Carolina DUI Laws

A third offense, which occurs within 5 years of the first (an additional look back period for third offense), will warrant the following North Carolina DUI penalties:

  • You will be charged with a misdemeanor
  • You will lose your driver's license permanently
  • Up to a $2000 fine
  • 24 months in jail

4th Offense of North Carolina DUI Laws

A fourth offense within the past 7 years is a felony charge. You could face up to 3 years in prison.

Hire a North Carolina DUI Lawyer

The best way to get these charges reduced, or dropped is to hire a North Carolina DUI lawyer. These attorneys can help you to get fines reduced, sentences lessened and help you to keep your driver's license. The laws are strict and there is not a lot of opportunity to get around them, but an attorney can help.

Contact North Carolina Drunk Driving Attorneys


  • Apex
  • Asheboro
  • Asheville
  • Burlington
  • Cary
  • Chapel Hill
  • Charlotte DUI Lawyers
  • Clayton
  • Concord
  • Durham
  • Elizabeth City
  • Fayetteville
  • Fort Bragg
  • Garner
  • Gastonia
  • Goldsboro
  • Greensboro
  • Greenville
  • Henderson
  • Hickory
  • High Point
  • Jacksonville
  • Kernersville
  • Lenoir
  • Lexington
  • Lincolnton
  • Lumberton
  • Matthews
  • Monroe
  • Morganton
  • Mount Airy
  • Raeford
  • Raleigh DUI Lawyers
  • Reidsville
  • Sanford
  • Statesville
  • Thomasville
  • Wake Forest
  • Wilmington
  • Wilson
  • Winston Salem

North Carolina DUI Legal Web Resources

North Carolina DMV DUI Information North Carolina State DUI Laws & Penalties
North Carolina Lawyer Directory
North Carolina Mothers Against Drunk Driving
North Carolina Highway Patrol North Carolina Superior Courts


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