Indulging in too much alcohol on a night out can lead to a charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI). DWI charges carry a variety of stiff consequences, including jail time, fines, and license suspension. Subsequent charges carry even harsher penalties.
According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, there are different levels of DWI charges. Here is how a DWI could affect your life and well-being.
Level I and II offenders are those who have repeat offenses, were driving with a minor, are driving with a suspended license, or drivers who injured someone while being under the influence. For level I, fines can total as much as $4,000 and the minimum jail term is 30 days. The possible total jail sentence is two years.
A level II conviction results in a minimum sentence of seven days and a possible maximum sentence lasting one year. Fines range up to $2,000.
Fines for level III offenses can range up to $1,000. Those convicted of DWI serve a minimum sentence of 72 hours, with a possible maximum term of six months. The court can also suspend the longer sentence if you agree to 72 hours of community service and give up driving privileges for 90 days.
Those convicted will spend a mandatory 48 hours in jail and face a maximum term of 120 days. Offenders can opt for 48 hours of community service and license suspension lasting 60 days instead of the longer sentence. The maximum fine is $500.
Minimum jail terms total 24 hours but can range up to 60 days. It is possible to suspend the longer sentence in exchange for 24 hours of community service and a license suspension that lasts 30 days. Fines go up to $200.
A mandatory one-year jail sentence accompanies felony DWI, which occurs when a person has three previous convictions within seven years. Offenders must also attend a substance abuse program in addition to their jail term.