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What are the consequences of a third DUI in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2023 | Firm News |

A DUI arrest can leave you fearful of what impacts the situation may have on your life. When you’ve been arrested for a third time, you know that you should expect serious repercussions.

From losing your driving license to potential consequences for your relationships, career and liberty – the effects are far-reaching and can be devastating. As a result, it’s important to know just exactly how North Carolina treats DUIs so that you can mentally prepare to fight back against the charges you’re facing.

North Carolina is known for strict DUI laws

When evaluating the seriousness of a DUI offense, North Carolina uses a sliding scale to determine what the appropriate penalty should be.

Your third offense will be treated as evidence of habitual drunk driving. This means that the state will consider you to have shown a pattern of behavior it considers to be undesirable.

The consequences of a conviction can be severe. For three offenses within a ten-year period, you are facing an habitual impaired driving conviction which is a Class F felony.

Additional penalties can be:

  • An automatic and permanent suspension of your driving license in the state of North Carolina
  • An ignition interlock device fitted on your vehicle
  • Mandatory jail time of 24 hours and a maximum of three years
  • A fine ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 with a maximum fine of $10,000 in aggravated offenses

Will you have to go to jail?

As previously mentioned, a minimum 24-hour jail sentence is mandatory under North Carolina’s DUI legislation. The judge may choose to suspend this in some instances, though. This will only be an option if there are strong mitigating circumstances and it would be advantageous to impose stricter rehabilitation requirements than jail.

A third DUI arrest can be tough to defend, especially with mandatory jail time involved. The best approach to guarantee that you will have the proper support in place throughout the process is to obtain legal assistance as soon as possible.