Bottle of Alcohol With Handcuffs and KeysWhen you are arrested for DWI in North Carolina, you face harsh penalties if you are convicted. One consequence is that your driver’s license will be immediately suspended. This can make it impossible for you to get to your job and take care of other personal needs. However, you may be able to get your driving privileges restored. One option is to request limited driving privileges.

When Is a Driver’s License Suspended Following a DWI Arrest?

Under North Carolina law, your driver’s license can be suspended for 30 to 45 days if you are arrested for DWI. It can be suspended in these situations:

  • Your blood alcohol content (BAC) was 0.08 percent or higher at the time of your arrest.
  • You are a commercial driver who was arrested for DWI with a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher.
  • You are under 18 years old and your BAC was 0.01 percent or higher.
  • You were stopped for DWI and refused to submit to a breath or chemical test.

Eligibility for Limited Driving Privileges

You are not eligible for limited driving privileges until at least 10 days from the date of your driver’s license suspension. Some of the requirement you must meet for a restricted license to be granted include:

  • You must have a valid driver’s license or your license must have been expired for less than a year.
  • You must not have been charged with or been convicted of another DWI offense since your arrest.
  • You must not have a prior DWI conviction in the last seven years since being charged with the current DWI.
  • If your revocation was for 30 days, 10 days must have past since it was revoked. You must wait 30 days if your license was revoked for 45 days.
  • You obtained an assessment from an approved mental health facility.
  • If you have a prior DWI conviction, you must have been sentenced at a Level 3, 4, or 5.

Additional requirements must be met if you are charged with underage DWI or refused a breath or chemical test.

How to Request Limited Driving Privileges

You will need to file a petition for limited driving privileges with the court and attend a court hearing. If the judge grants your request, you would be permitted to drive Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm for work, school, household maintenance, court-ordered treatments, emergency medical care, or community service ordered as part of your probation.

Have You Been Arrested for a DWI in Charlotte, NC?

If you are facing DWI charges, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Charlotte office directly at 980.207.3355 to schedule your free consultation.


C. Todd Browning
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Charlotte Criminal Defense and DWI Lawyer
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