Understanding North Carolina Law

Understanding North Carolina Law

Understanding North Carolina Law

Commercial driver's license (CDL) holders are held to a higher standard than other motorists in North Carolina. Not only are the qualifications for obtaining a CDL more rigorous than those for a standard driver's license, once a person has earned his or her CDL, they must adhere to a more strict code of conduct on the roads. This includes the guidelines surrounding DWI.

To learn more, Back On The Road Again Inc. Office at (252) 675-4355.

Legal Limit for CDLs in North Carolina

Most motorists must have a BAC of .08 or higher in order to be arrested for DWI. For CDL holders, that threshold is considerably lower at .04 while driving a commercial vehicle.

CDL & Sobriety Test Refusals

CDL drivers who do not submit to field sobriety testing can be charged with a refusal and may face additional penalties.

DWI and CDL Disqualification

You can lose your CDL for one year if you are convicted of any of the following DWI-related offenses:

• Driving a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 or higher

• Refusing a chemical BAC test

• Driving a commercial vehicle under the influence of a schedule I controlled substance

If you were transporting hazardous materials at the time, your suspension will be extended to three years.

One of the most inconvenient and even serious consequences of a DWI conviction is the loss of your driver's license. Under North Carolina law, you may even lose all or part of your driving privileges before your case goes to court. 

Limited Driving Privileges

Most drivers who are convicted of DWI are eligible for a limited driving permit, or LDP, that will enable them to go to and from work or school. Keep in mind that an LDP is essentially a restricted license that can only be used for you to drive to specific areas.

In DWI cases, limited driving privileges fall into one of three categories:

• Pre-Trial Driving Privilege: If you blew at or above the legal limit, your license will be suspended for 30 days after the date of your arrest for DWI. You may apply for LDP after 10 days, but only if you meet specific requirements that include proof of insurance, no prior DWI convictions in the past 10 years and proof that you completed a substance abuse assessment. You will also be required to pay certain fines and fees in order to receive your limited permit.

• Post-Trial Driving Privilege: In order to receive LDP after a DWI conviction, you must meet all of the requirements in place for a pre-trial permit. If your breath test was a .15 or higher, you will have to wait 45 days before you are eligible to apply for a limited permit. If you are granted the permit, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device, or IID, installed on your vehicle. If your DWI was a Level 1 or Level 2, you will not be eligible to apply for LDP for one year.

• Refusals: If you refuse to take the official state breath test, your license will be revoked for one year. You may apply for an LDP after six months, which will be awarded at the discretion of the sentencing court

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