How to Regain My Driving Privileges

One of the most common types of driver’s license suspensions in North Carolina is from a DWI-related suspension. The suspension period is typically based on a person’s BAC when pulled over.

Drivers older than 21 years of age with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher will have their driver’s license revoked for 30 days. Those who refuse to take a chemical test after arrest will face immediate license revocation for 30 days plus an administrative suspension for 12 months.

The following are the DWI-related suspension periods in North Carolina:

  • First offense – License suspension for one year
  • Second offense – License suspension for four years
  • Third offense – Permanent revocation if a DWI conviction happened within the last five years
  • Fourth offense (felony) – Permanent revocation

In the event of a first-offense DWI, an individual can apply for limited driving privileges on the 11th day of that 30-day period. Additionally, first-time offenders may be eligible for a limited driving privilege during the one-year suspension period.

If an individual has been convicted of two DWIs, it may be possible for them to request a DWI restoration hearing with the NC DMV to request the reinstatement of their driving privileges after a certain amount of time has passed, at least three years. First, a person submits the necessary paperwork proving your eligibility for a DMV hearing. Then, a hearing will be scheduled.

If you refused to take a chemical test after a DWI arrest, you can apply for an administrative hearing with the DMV. At the hearing, you have the opportunity to present evidence that the officer failed to establish probable cause, the test was improperly administered, or you didn't actually refuse the test.

If you have been charged with a DWI in North Carolina, request a free consultation with our Raleigh criminal defense lawyers at Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh today. With more than 50 years of combined legal experience, we have successfully defended thousands of cases.


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