A DUI conviction in NC results in criminal penalties, issues getting insurance coverage and problems with existing coverage not paying for the accident.
The state of NC takes driving while impaired quite seriously. A DUI arrest in NC can seriously impair your ability to obtain insurance even after you get your license back. The DUI cost in NC is extremely high both in terms of fines and loss of driving privileges.
What Is a DUI in NC?
In the U.S. state of NC, the law refers to DUI as driving while impaired (DWI). The state determines whether an individual is impaired by their blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The state of NC considers an individual legally impaired if they are:
- Driver of 21 years or older with a BAC of 0.08 percent
- Commercial driver (CDL) with a BAC of 0.04 percent
- Driver younger than 21 with any BAC
- Driver with a prior DWI with a BAC of 0.04 percent
DUI Consequences in NC
For the first offense DUI, NC charges fines, including court costs and lawyer fees. They will also suspend your license for one year and can give you jail time and community service if they see fit. For the second offense, the individual’s license gets revoked for four years. At the third DUI conviction, NC revokes the individual’s license. While not a legal penalty, those with a DUI or DWI will experience higher car insurance rates and may find it difficult to obtain insurance.
Is a DUI a Felony in NC?
The answer is yes and no regarding DUI charges in NC brought against individuals. The law considers a person’s first three offenses of DUI in NC a misdemeanor. If a person racks up more than three convictions though, then beginning with the fourth offense, they are charged with felony DUI. At that point, the law sees the individual as a habitual offender. If someone dies as a result of your DUI-caused accident, you will be charged with felony vehicular manslaughter. While as a misdemeanor DUI carries a fine or loss of driver’s license, as a felony crime, it carries a sentence of a minimum of one year in prison, permanent loss of their driver’s license and a fine.
Car Insurance Quotes in NC
While you’re getting insurance quotes, ask about their policies and read them carefully before purchasing. Their definition of intentional or reckless determines the outcome of your insurance claim. If you cause a car accident from your DUI, your insurance may consider it intentional. The company may refuse to pay because you intentionally caused the accident. They will argue that by drinking and getting behind the wheel of the car, you are at fault. That excludes you from coverage. If you simply hit a tree while driving and only your vehicle was involved, they might pay. Damages that the insurance does not cover are your fiscal responsibility.
After a DUI or DWI, your insurance company may try to cancel your policy. You will probably have a difficult time obtaining a new policy. The penalties are numerous for drunk driving in NC.