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The Implications of an Out-of-State DWI

North Carolina residents who are convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in another state might be surprised to learn that not only will they face consequences in the state of their conviction, but they may face consequences in North Carolina, too. 

Here, we discuss the implications of an out-of-state DWI on your North Carolina driving privileges, as well as how an experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney can assist with getting those privileges restored.

Drivers License Compact 

Forty-six states, including North Carolina, are a part of the “Drivers License Compact,” which is an agreement among the states that requires states to report certain convictions, such as DWIs, to the state licensing authority of the home state of the impaired driver. 

For example, if a resident of North Carolina is convicted of a DWI in South Carolina, he would be charged under the laws of South Carolina and, if convicted, would serve the penalty imposed by South Carolina. In addition, South Carolina would report this conviction to the North Carolina DMV.

North Carolina DMV Will Take Action

Once the North Carolina DMV receives notice of a person’s DWI conviction in another state, the DMV will revoke the person’s driver’s license for one year. That is because, under North Carolina G.S. 20-4.24(b), North Carolina must act as though the conviction of a DWI in another state had occurred in North Carolina and treat it with the same consequences.

Eligibility for Limited Driving Privileges 

Once a person’s license is revoked on account of an out-of-state DWI, all is not lost. North Carolina G.S. 20-179.3(b)provides that a person convicted of a DWI in another state may be eligible for limited driving privileges if: (1) the out-of-state DWI was substantially similar to a DWI in North Carolina and (2) the person would have been eligible for such privilege had the conviction occurred in North Carolina.

To receive limited driving privileges in North Carolina, a person must:

  1. Have had a valid driver’s license (or one that had been expired for less than a year) at the time of the DWI.
  2. Not have been convicted of a DWI within the previous seven years. 
  3. Have been punished by the other state to a level sufficient to the state of North Carolina.
  4. Not have been convicted of or have an unresolved charge for a DWI since the original DWI. 
  5. Have obtained a substance abuse assessment and filed it with the court. 

If these factors are met, a person whose license has been revoked can petition for a limited driving privilege, which is a civil process and is done through the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts. 

You Are Entitled to a Vigorous Defense.

If you have been convicted of a DWI in another state and think you might qualify for a limited driving privilege in North Carolina, Cotten Law can help. Jeremy has represented tens of thousands of clients and has hundreds of stellar reviewsonline. Our offices serve clients in central North Carolina including Wake, Johnston, Harnett, Orange, Sampson, Lee, and Chatham Counties. Give our office a call or click over to our main page to chat live with an assistant 24 hours a day.

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