Habitual Impaired Driving

Habitual DWI in North Carolina

DWI, is an acronym for ‘driving while impaired.’ DWI is a criminal traffic offense punished under the laws of North Carolina. It punishes driving under the influence of substances such as drugs, alcohol and other impairing substance. However, a charge of habitual DWI in North Carolina is far more serious than a stand-alone DWI charge.

North Carolina General Statutes state that “A person commits the offense of habitual impaired driving if he drives while impaired as defined in G.S. 20-138.1 and has been convicted of three or more offenses involving impaired driving as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(24a) within 10 years of the date of this offense.” This means that if you have committed the crime of driving while impaired four times within 10 years, you may be charged with this more serious offense.

The bulk of North Carolina’s traffic laws and offenses, including DWI, are meant to pass on the message that the state has zero tolerance for dangerous driving. Driving while impaired is normally charged as a misdemeanor; however, habitual DWI is a felony. If you have been arrested or charged with the offense of habitual DWI, you should speak to a qualified North Carolina DWI attorney immediately.

Contact a criminal justice lawyer at Stowe Law Firm, PLLC for a better understanding of your rights and guidance as you defend the charge against you. We have helped many clients throughout the state respond to DWI and other criminal charges, often resulting in positive outcomes. Call us to speak with a qualified lawyer today.

Habitual DWI in North Carolina

Habitual DWI occurs when a person has been convicted of driving while impaired three or more times. The elements of habitual impaired driving are simple:

  • The defendant was driving
  • The defendant was driving under the influence of an impairing substance
  • The impaired driving occurred on a public highway
  • The defendant has been convicted of three separate DWI charges in the ten years preceding this charge.

Consequences of a habitual DWI conviction in North Carolina

The offense of habitual DWI is charged as a Class F felony. This means a person charged with the offense of habitual impaired driving faces several weighty consequences. These include the following:

  • One-year mandatory prison sentence: The court will sentence the defendant to a mandatory 1-year jail term that stands alone from any other punishment imposed. The sentence cannot be suspended or shortened. A person convicted of habitual impaired driving faces a maximum of 59 months in prison.
  • Revocation of Driver’s License: The offender will lose his driver’s license.
  • Substance abuse treatment: The offender will be required to undergo compulsory substance abuse treatment.
  • Seizure of vehicle: The vehicle driven by the offender while under influence will be impounded and may be sold.
  • Fines: The offender will also be required to pay hefty fines.

Contact Stowe Law Firm, PLLC for help

A charge of Habitual DWI can carry severe consequences. If you or a loved one are facing charges for habitual impaired driving, it is in your best interest to contact a qualified attorney who can help you defend against the charge. At Stowe Law Firm, PLLC, we take pride in fighting for your freedom. We will advocate for your rights. We will ensure you are treated fairly. Call us today on 704-856-9502

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Ryan Stowe is the principal attorney at Stowe Law Firm, PLLC. Mr. Stowe is proud to be practicing in his hometown of Salisbury, NC, and is a first generation Rowan County attorney. Mr. Stowe takes pride in being a criminal defense attorney. He focuse…

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