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What Are the 5 levels of DWIs in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

When accused of driving while intoxicated in North Carolina, the offense may fall into five different levels. Level V represents more minor charges, while Level I charges represent the most serious. The more serious the charge, the higher the risks you face of long jail times and the higher the fines climb to. 

In addition to this, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety reports that drivers who refuse a test may face immediate revocation of licenses for 30 days. After a hearing, that person may face another year of license revocation. 

Level I

If convicted of an offense at this level, you may pay as much as $4,000 in fines and may spend as long as two years behind bars. To fall into this category, you may meet one or more of the following criteria: 

  • Caused harm to someone during the DWI incident 
  • Transported children during the incident 
  • Marked as a repeat offender 

Level II

Repeat offenders may face this level of charges instead. This may lead to a fine as high as $2,000 and a minimum of seven days behind bars. 

Level III

At this level, North Carolina offenders may pay fines of around $1,000. The judge may suspend the minimum sentence of 72 hours. Other sentencing possibilities include 72 hours of community service or losing the privilege of legally operating a vehicle for 90 days. 

Level IV 

Offenders in this category may spend anywhere from 48 hours to 120 days behind bars. Other sentencing possibilities include 48 hours of community service or not operating a vehicle for 60 days. Fines may climb to $500 at this stage. 

Level V

At the least serious level, fines only go up to $200. Jail time may range from 24 hours behind bars to 60 days. Other sentencing possibilities include 30 days of not operating a vehicle or 24 hours of community service. 

North Carolina sometimes tries repeat offender cases as felonies. This depends on how many offenses a person becomes convicted of over the past seven years.