When Can I Drive After a DWI in Durham?

Durham DWI Defense Police Car If you were arrested or even just charged with “drunk driving” in Durham, assuming you willfully refuse to blow or blew a .08 or higher, there's a decent chance your driver's license was seized.

That's true whether you are licensed by NCDMV or some other state.

DWI “30-Day Suspensions” apply to a commercial driver’s licenses (CDL Class A and CDL Class B) as well as an ordinary Class C driver’s license in NC.

That revocation ordinarily would take place pursuant to N.C.G.S. 20-16.2, the North Carolina implied consent law.

And while many if not most people charged with DWI in Durham may in fact have their license revoked just for being charged, that does not necessarily happen in every case or in every instance.

Driving While License Revoked - Impaired Revocation or what DUI defense lawyers may refer to as “DWLR Imp Rev,” is a serious criminal charge.

Is DUI a Felony in NC?

Put simply, if you drive while your license is revoked or suspended due to DWI charges, you could face a maximum period of 120 days in jail as part of a conviction for Class 1 misdemeanor offense.

Furthermore, a conviction for a moving violation during a period of revocation or suspension likely will further extend the already existing suspension, making it hard to legally operate a motor vehicle anytime soon.

Can I Get a “Hardship License?

While a common term nationally, a hardship license in North Carolina is formally referred to as a limited driving privilege.

Relative to DWI charges, there are generally two primary types of limited privileges available:

  1. Pretrial Limited Driving Privilege
  2. Limited Driving Privilege – If convicted

The first type of limited privilege involves the 30-day revocation or “Civil, administrative revocation.”

What is a Criminal Summons?

It is referred to as the pretrial limited driving privilege and may, in certain circumstances, be obtained after 10 days of the 30-day suspension has expired.

There are a fair number of conditions precedent involving obtaining a pretrial privilege. Their issuance is in discretion of the Court.

They require a special filing with the Clerk of Court in Durham and approval by a judge.

An attorney is not required to prepare and file a privilege, yet given their complexity, it often helps to have a DUI defense lawyer involved.

"We regularly help people gather the necessary documents and obtain a Limited Privilege when eligible. That may require things an Alcohol Assessment, an DL-123, and documentation of employment."

- Cole Williams, Durham DWI Defense Lawyer

Can They Revoke My License Just for Being Charged?

The NC DWI laws authorize a civil revocation in certain circumstances just for being charged with DUI.

If you willfully refuse to blow that's one way DMV can suspend your license.

Insurance Points in North Carolina

If the test results come back 0.08 or higher, either in your breath or blood, that too can be a legitimate basis to revoke your license under N.C.G.S. 20-16.2.

"That can seem a bit unfair. People want to know, ‘How can the revoke my license without being convicted?"

- Cole Williams, Criminal Defense Attorney in Durham

In North Carolina, the 30-day civil, administrative revocation has not been found to be a “punishment.”

That’s tough, as most people need to be able to drive to get to work, to take care of family, and maintain the household.

But, that’s the law in North Carolina.

DMV Restoration Hearing

Durham DWI Lawyers Drivers License If you have questions about your legal rights or whether you’re eligible for a Limited Driving Privilege, you should speak with an experienced DWI defense lawyer immediately.

There are certain timing requirements regarding filing paperwork and/or seeking administrative relief.

Can I Challenge the Civil, Administrative “30-Day Revocation?”

DWI charges, like other criminal matters in North Carolina, may only be brought upon a finding of Probable Cause.

If NC DMV seeks to suspend or revoke your license for impaired driving, probable cause must exist to charge you with the offence.

"It’s important to note, the police officer is NOT required to arrest you for DWI. You may be charged by the issuance of a Uniform Citation."

- Cole Williams, Criminal Lawyer in Durham

Probable cause is a complicated legal concept in North Carolina.

For DWI charges, it may involve consideration of things like dexterity tests, blowing into a handheld portable “breathalyzer” or “PBT,” and your overall appearance and demeanor.

There is a legal process available in North Carolina, in limited circumstances, where it is possible to challenge the imposition of a Civil, Administrative Revocation.

Those matters are handled as a special hearing and do not involve the DA’s Office in Durham County.

The Civil Administrative Revocation hearing may take place before either a Magistrate or District Court Judge.

The methods and availability of such hearings depend substantially on the circumstances of the case, local rules of court, and procedural preferences in any particular jurisdiction.

Prayers for Administrative Relief must be timely filed and proper Notice of the Hearing must be forwarded to Counsel for DMV.

In North Carolina, the Attorney General’s Office represents NC DMV in those administrative “30-Day Hearing” challenges.

Failure to file within the proscribed period may result in the WAIVER of your right to obtain administrative relief.

Durham DWI Lawyer – Cole Williams

"The DWI laws in North Carolina have become somewhat complicated. At times they can be downright confusing."

- Cole Williams, Durham Lawyer

Before doing anything, especially driving after DUI, you really should seek the advice of an experienced DWI lawyer in Durham.

There are consequences for just being charged with impaired driving.

Your case matters.

The ability to drive, support your family, and get to work is an important consideration.

To schedule a consultation, Cole Williams now: (919) 688-2647

Cole Williams is a fabulous courtroom attorney. He's someone I respect and admire, having litigated complex legal matters in Durham with him. Our firm regularly refers clients to Cole and his staff, knowing they'll be treated in a kind, professional manner. Bill Powers, Charlotte Attorney
I've known Cole Williams both personally and professionally for more than 20 years. Cole has a keen legal mind and tenacious spirit. He is widely respected both in the Durham legal community and in North Carolina as a courtroom advocate. I highly recommend Cole Williams to you. John Fanney, Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney