Even if you have been convicted of your first DWI, the North Carolina DMV will suspend your license for a minimum of 1 year as a result of the conviction. While it is possible to obtain a limited driving privilege during this year, for drivers that blow a .15 BAC level or above there are two complications: (1) no driving privilege can be issued for at least 45 days following the conviction; and (2) the person must have an ignition interlock system installed on their vehicle in order to obtain the privilege.
Here are the steps to acquiring the ignition interlock limited driving privilege 45 days after conviction on the DWI:
1) Meet other eligibility requirements for obtaining a limited driving privilege. If you (a) have no other suspensions in effect at the time of request, (b) have not been convicted of a DWI in the last seven years, and (c) have no pending unresolved charges of DWI, then you likely are eligible to request a limited driving privilege.
2) Obtain a DL-123 form from your auto insurance. This step can be accomplished quickly by calling your insurance agent and having him fax the DL-123. These forms are only valid for 30 days, so it is wise to wait until immediately before requesting the privilege to obtain this form.
3) Obtain an alcohol assessment. (See our youtube video below on alcohol assessments).
4) Prepare an ignition interlock limited driving privilege (AOC-CR-340). Both sides of this two-sided form must be completed.
6) If you work during non-standard business hours, obtain a letter from your employer stating the hours that you are required to work. According to the limited driving privilege, standard business hours are Mon-Fri from 6 AM – 8 PM. If you have to drive for work purposes outside of these hours, then you may need documentation from your employer stating what your hours are, or that you are on-call 24 hours a day.
7) Take your driving privilege and other documents to clerk of court in the county where the implied consent offense was charged for filing instructions. This is the opportunity for you to present you refusal limited driving privilege, DL-123, alcohol assessment, ignition interlock verification form), and letter from your employer (if necessary) to have your privilege signed and sealed.
8) Pay $100.00 to the clerk’s office for the limited driving privilege.
9) Take your signed copy of the privilege with the vehicle to a local DMV as the DMV will have to verify that the interlock system is correctly installed. This is extremely important because without this step, you will not be given credit for the time the interlock system is on your vehicle (it is required to remain on the vehicle for 365 days).
10) Drive only within the parameters of limited driving privilege! Driving may be permitted for work and educational purposes as well as religious worship in additional to other allowances.
If you would like to discuss your eligibility for a North Carolina limited driving privilege or have an attorney help you draft the legal documents necessary for obtaining the privilege, call our office now.