High Alcohol Levels and Driving Privileges

The charge of Driving While Impaired is complex. Likewise, so are the consequences of the charge if a Defendant is convicted and not properly prepared. There are potential consequences that one may expect, such as alcohol treatment, fines, probation, or even jail time. These may be imposed as part of a DWI judgment- meaning the penalty that a judge imposes as upon a finding of guilt for DWI.  However, there are also collateral consequences that may surprise you.  If you have a DWI in Wake County, Durham County or Franklin County, call the Criminal Defense Team of Hatch, Little & Bunn today for a comprehensive analysis of the potential collateral consequences.

One collateral consequence of a DWI conviction is that the Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your driver’s license for at least one year.  If you are found at a sentencing level of 3, 4, or 5, you may be eligible for a limited driving privilege.  However, the type of driving privilege you get may depend on some of the details of your case.

Specifically, in a DWI judgment where the court hears admissible evidence that you have a breath or blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher, the Court cannot allow you a limited driving privilege for 45 days.  That means you will have to find a way to work for the first 45 days after you are found guilty of DWI.  When that 45 days is up, you will have to get an interlock (blow before you go) device in your vehicle before the judge can give you a limited driving privilege. Furthermore, you will only be able to drive back and forth for work or school for the remainder of your year long suspension.  You cannot be authorized to drive for ‘maintenance of your household.’

However, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to suppress or exclude the breath or blood alcohol concentration of .15 or higher.  If suppression or exclusion is achieved, the collateral consequences of your DWI conviction in Wake County, Durham County or Franklin County may be significantly easier on you.  An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to secure a limited driving privilege the very same day as your conviction, meaning you don’t have to wait the 45 days without driving.  Perhaps equally important is that the privilege you are eligible for under these circumstances is much broader.  This limited driving privilege will allow you to drive back and forth for work, school, religious services, and maintenance of household.  This means you can continue to drive during normal operating house to places necessary to go to keep your household running- places like the grocery store or pharmacy.  It also means that you may be able to defer your need to have an interlock placed in your car until you go back to the DMV to get your license back at the end of your yearlong suspension.

An experienced Raleigh DWI/DUI criminal defense attorney from the Criminal Litigation Team at Hatch, Little & Bunn can help you to understand these and many other collateral consequences from your DWI. Our team can also help you make the right choices for your circumstances.  In DWI cases, sometimes the scariest part is just not knowing what is coming and what you can do to prepare.  Take the fear out of your DWI.  If you have a DWI case in Wake County, Durham County or Franklin County, call us today at 919-714-4306 so that you can begin to put your mind at ease and move forward.


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