Harsh Drunk Driving and DUI Penalties in North Carolina and Beyond

Ripped from today’s news is word that Wisconsin will follow North Carolina, among other states, in imposing some of the harshest penalties for those convicted of drunk driving or DUI offenses. Wisconsin, like North Carolina, will impose a felony on defendants who are convicted of three or more drunk driving charges.

North Carolina has some of the toughest drunk driving, DUI, DWI laws in the country. For instance, North Carolina (NCGS 20-138.5) punishes repeat drunk drivers harshly through a habitual drunk driving law. This habitual DUI law creates a Class F felony for drivers who have been convicted of at least two past drunk driving offenses in the span of ten years.

The defendant must have committed a drunk driving offense and been convicted of that drunk driving offense before committing the next DUI offense. If the driver has been convicted of a third (or more) drunk driving offense within ten years, the result is a conviction carrying a punishment of least 12 months of jail time and permanent revocation of the defendant’s license.

Because North Carolina has such stiff penalties for driving drunk, and for repeatedly driving drunk, it becomes very important for citizens to challenge each drunk driving allegation as best they can.  Since a first or second offense, might eventually turn into a third offense that results in permanent, life-long revocation of a driving license, it’s important to put up a vigorous defense to every single drunk driving charge to avoid that awful consequence.

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.