In North Carolina, limited driving privileges may be available to individuals who have had their driver’s license revoked due to a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) conviction. These limited driving privileges allow individuals to drive for specific purposes during the period of license revocation. Here are some key points to consider.
To be eligible for limited driving privileges, you must:
• Have a valid reason for needing to drive during the revocation period.
• Possessed a valid driver’s license or a license expired for less than one year at the time of the DUI.
• Not have subsequent DUI charges or prior DUI convictions within seven years of the date of the DUI.
• Having been sentenced to a maximum fine of $1000 and a maximum term of incarceration, which may have been suspended, of 6 months for the DUI conviction (Level 3, 4, or 5 punishments under NC General Statute § 20-179)
• Complete a substance abuse assessment.
• Provide proof of liability insurance coverage for the vehicle you’ll be driving under the limited driving privileges. That proof can be a policy binder, or a certificate or fax from the insurance company confirming the policy if applying within 30 days of obtaining car insurance. The proof of insurance must show the effective date and expiration date of the policy.
Valid reasons for needing limited driving privileges include:
• Transportation to work, school, medical care, community service, religious worship, and court-ordered treatment or assessment, as well as for household maintenance.
Also, the hours during which you’re allowed to drive may be restricted, typically aligning with the purpose for which you need to drive. Furthermore, in some cases, the court may require the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle as a condition for granting limited driving privileges. An interlock ignition device measures your blood alcohol content (BAC) before allowing the vehicle to start. If your BAC is above the set limit, the vehicle won’t start. DUI convictions with a BAC of .15 or higher require interlock ignition device installation as a part of limited driving privileges. A judge may require interlock ignition device installation as a part of limited driving privileges for DUIs with BAC under .15.
Limited driving privileges allow you to drive for emergency medical care regardless of the route or time of day; however, all other driving must comply with any court-ordered restrictions. Generally, drivers with limited driving privileges may only drive for work purposes between 6:00 AM and 8:00 PM. Driving for work outside of those hours may be allowed if the judge specifically authorizes it after receiving supporting documentation.
Limited driving privileges may be available to those who have had their driver’s licenses revoked based on DUIs outside of North Carolina, although non-North Carolina DUIs may contain 60-day driving bans that must be completed before you are eligible to apply for limited driving privileges in North Carolina.
Application Process: To apply for limited driving privileges, you’ll need to complete the appropriate forms and submit them to the court in the county where your DUI case was handled. The forms are tailored to the different circumstances (North Carolina or out-of-state) and potential driving privilege conditions (interlock ignition device). Applications must also state the reason for needing limited driving privileges and include any supporting documentation.
It’s important to note that the specific requirements and procedures for obtaining limited driving privileges may vary depending on the county and the details of your DUI case. For example, limited driving privileges after DUIs for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test have different application requirements. Limited driving privileges are also available only when your license has been revoked for specific charges or convictions, including DUI.
If you aren’t sure if you should fight your traffic ticket or apply for limited driving privileges, consult with a North Carolina traffic and DWI attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. You may have a limited time to request a hearing or present your defenses.
King Law Offices is a full-service law firm with an outstanding team of professionals who work diligently, creatively, and compassionately on behalf of our clients each day. We serve the Upstate of South Carolina and Western North Carolina. Call 888-748-KING (5464) today for a consultation.