Penalties for DUI Conviction

DUI Field Sobriety Testing

Penalties for DUI Conviction

Punishments for DUI charges in NC vary depending on your past criminal history. You may end up in prison for a few years or have to pay high fines.

Potential Consequences for Being Convicted of DUIs

Anytime you are arrested for operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the state of North Carolina may charge you with driving while intoxicated. Following a DUI arrest in NC, you could end up facing one or more of the following penalties.


If it is a first offense DUI in NC and no one was hurt, your fines may be as low as $200. However, fines can increase if you have had multiple previous convictions, so you might end up with fines as high as $4,000.

Prison Time

Jail time may be as short as 24 hours in cases where nothing was harmed and you have not had a DWI before. However, if you are a repeat offender or caused damage while driving, you could be sentenced to one to two years in prison.

Driving Bans

Your driver’s license will typically be suspended following a DUI conviction in NC. This suspension can be as short as 30 days. If you are convicted of your fourth DWI in seven years, though, you will lose your license for the rest of your life.

Felony Charges

In most cases, the answer to “What is a DUI in NC?” is typically just a misdemeanor. However, the response to “Is a DUI a felony in NC?” depends largely on how many DUIs you have had. If you have already had three or more DWI convictions within seven years, you will be charged with a Habitual DWI on your fourth offense. This is a felony charge that may impair your future ability to vote and work in certain jobs.

Increased Car Insurance Prices

The true DUI cost in NC is not just based on the legal consequences. Following a DUI, you might notice that your car insurance quotes from NC companies have greatly increased.

Loss of Your Vehicle

Under a recent provision, people convicted of a DWI while their license was already revoked due to a DUI may forfeit the vehicle they were driving while arrested.

As you can see, DUI consequences in NC are very severe, so it is important to take them seriously.