Driving while under the influence in North Carolina can lead to serious consequences if you are caught and convicted. According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, there are five different levels that a person can fall into when driving intoxicated, starting with Level V and ending with Level I, which is the most serious.

A Level V misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence of anywhere from 24 hours to 60 days and a $200 fine. Level IV means a maximum sentence of 120 days and a minimum of 48 hours and a $500 fine. Level III can lead to a $1,000 fine and a minimum of 72 hours in jail that can lead up to six months. Level II is punishable by a jail sentence of seven days to one year and a fine of up to $2,000. Level V requires a minimum of 30 days jail time with a maximum of two years behind bars and a $4,000 fine.

A judge can suspend sentences up to a Level III, but Levels II and I cannot be suspended. If a judge suspends the sentence they may also introduce new requirements for the driver such as community service and additional jail time, or make them ineligible to operate a motor vehicle for a period.

Anyone with more than three DWI convictions in seven years is considered a habitual DWI offender and may face more serious consequences. The law states that the person spends at least one year in jail and go through a substance abuse program while on parole or in jail. Felony DWI is a severe felony.

If you have been accused of driving under the influence, you should be concerned with how it can directly affect your future. A good criminal defense attorney may be able to help lessen the charges and secure a good result.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.