Limited Driving Privilege
When a person is arrested for impaired driving—THIS IS INCORRECT – NC IS “Driving while Impaired” NOT intoxicated (DWI)—in North Carolina, one of the immediate and most damaging punishments is the loss of a driver’s license. People arrested for DWI automatically have their licenses suspended for 30 days, and driving privileges are revoked for at least one year if ultimately convicted.
Many people rely on their driver’s licenses in order to get to and from work or school. The idea of not driving for several months is simply not feasible, but for those that find themselves in the unfortunate situation of having a DWI, the law allows for the continued privilege to drive for specific purposes during specific times.
Limited Driving Privilege Lawyer in Raleigh
If you were recently arrested for DWI in the greater Wake County area, do not assume that your only option to get from place to place over the next year is public transportation or rides from friends and family. Coolidge Law Firm helps clients in and around Raleigh who have had their licenses suspended or revoked because of an impaired driving arrest.
Our limited driving privilege attorneys represent residents of such communities as Apex, Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Garner, Holly Springs, Morrisville, and Wake Forest. We can review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Limited Driving Privilege Overview
- Who can obtain a limited driving permit?
- How do blood or breath tests complicate eligibility?
- What happens if a person does not work during traditional business hours?
- Where can I learn more about limited driving permits in North Carolina?
North Carolina General Statute § 20-179.3 states that a person convicted of impaired driving is eligible for a limited driving permit if:
- At the time of the offense he held either a valid driver’s license or a license that had been expired for less than one year;
- At the time of the offense he had not within the preceding seven years been convicted of an offense involving impaired driving;
- Punishment Level Three, Four, or Five was imposed for the offense of impaired driving;
- Subsequent to the offense he has not been convicted of, or had an unresolved charge lodged against him for, an offense involving impaired driving; and
- The person has obtained and filed with the court a substance abuse assessment of the type required by North Carolina General Statute § 20-17.6 for the restoration of a driver’s license.
Applicants for limited driving privileges will also need to obtain a specific kind of proof of vehicle liability insurance coverage from their insurance companies called a DL-123 form. A fee of $100 must be paid to the Clerk of the Court when applying for limited driving permits.
An alleged offender’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or any refusal to submit to chemical testing can cause additional requirements in order to be granted a limited driving permit. The privilege restrictions differ as follows:
- Pre-conviction BAC of 0.08 or above – Eligible to apply for a limited driving privilege after 10th day of 30 day suspension.
- Post-Confiction: BAC of 0.08 or Higher, But Less Than 0.15 — Eligible for limited driving privilege at time of conviction.
- Post –Conviction: BAC of 0.15 or Higher — Limited driving privileges for high-risk drivers do not become effective until at least 45 days after the final conviction. Installation of an ignition interlock system is required prior to these drivers being issued limited driving privileges, and these drivers are restricted to driving only to and from places of employment, school, any court ordered treatment or substance abuse education, and any ignition interlock service facilities.
- Refusal to Submit to Testing — A driver who does not agree to perform a breath or blood test must wait until six months after he has been issued a notice of revocation. In order to be granted a limited driving privilege, these offenders must complete any recommended treatment programs as well as a minimum of one of the mandatory conditions of probation.
The specific restrictions of a limited driving privilege are in the discretion of the court. For example, certain privileges may not allow driving for maintenance of the household except during standard working hours.
Under North Carolina General Statute § 20-179.3(f1), standard working hours are defined as being 6:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. on Monday through Friday. This definition can pose a significant problem for students taking night classes or people who work jobs with nonconventional hours.
Section (g1) of this statute does establish ways in which motorists can be granted limited driving privileges for nonstandard working hours. If an applicant is required to drive during such hours for “an essential work-related purpose,” then he needs to present proper documentation before the judge will authorize him to drive for such purpose during those hours.
The limitations of the privilege will be based on the information provided by the applicant:
- Specific Place of Work at Regular Times — The privilege will specify and restrict the applicant to the general times and routes in which he will be driving to and from work.
- Specific Place of Work at Irregular Times — The privilege will specify and restrict the applicant to the general routes in which he will be driving to and from work.
- Regular Times with No Specific Place of Work — The privilege will specify and restrict the applicant to the general times and geographic boundaries in which he will be driving to and from work.
- No Regular Times and No Specific Place of Work — The privilege will specify and restrict the applicant to geographic boundaries in which he will be driving to and from work.
North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) | Suspensions — This section of the DMV website touches on some of the common suspensions and revocations in North Carolina. It has a chart covering different offenses and their respective lengths of suspension or revocation, whether discretionary pre-hearings allowed, and what the specific related suspensions statutes are. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions about limited driving privileges, ignition interlock requirements, and substance abuse assessments.
North Carolina DMV Headquarters
1100 New Bern Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27697
Petition For Limited Driving Privilege Pretrial Revocation (Implied-Consent Offense) — This is one of the forms that you will be required to provide the court if you are seeking a limited driving permit. You will also be required to submit a Limited Driving Privilege Pretrial Revocation (Implied-Consent Offense) or Limited Driving Privilege Indefinite Pretrial Revocation (Implied-Consent Offense). Additionally, the court will require a copy of your seven-year driving history from the North Carolina DMV.
Contact a Limited Driving Privilege Lawyer
Were you recently arrested for DWI in North Carolina but need to drive in order to remain gainfully employed or support dependents in your household? You could be eligible for a limited driving permit.
Coolidge Law Firm represents clients throughout the Raleigh area, and we also defend students at local institutions like Duke University, Meredith College, North Carolina State University, Shaw University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), Wake Tech, and William Peace University. Our criminal defense attorneys will provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (919) 239-8448 or fill out the contact form below today to take advantage of a completely free initial consultation.