Serious Traffic Violations And Penalties In North Carolina

If you are like many drivers, you may not think getting a traffic ticket is something serious. While it is an inconvenience, you may not be afraid of the consequences. However, some traffic offenses have severe penalties, including:

  • Temporary license suspension
  • Permanent license revocation
  • Costly fines
  • Increased insurance rates
  • Jail time

To avoid these repercussions, it is important to understand what constitutes a serious traffic violation in North Carolina. Here are offenses you should be aware of and avoid committing.

Cellphone use

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, texting while operating a vehicle is illegal, as is any cellphone use by motorists under the age of 18. Unlawfully using a mobile phone while driving comes with a fine of $100 and additional court costs.


It is illegal to drive even just one mile over any posted speed limit in North Carolina. Speeding violations come with fines of up to $1,000, license suspension up to one year and jail time for up to two months. A speeding ticket may also add points to your driving record.

Reckless driving

You may be guilty of reckless driving if you exhibit a disregard for the safety or rights of other motorists, pedestrians or cyclists. Excessively speeding may also constitute reckless driving. A reckless driving conviction is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Not only does this create a criminal record, but the maximum criminal penalties also include a $1,000 fine and 60 days of jail time.

Failure to move over for emergency vehicles

Drivers must shift over one lane to allow emergency vehicles and law enforcement with flashing lights to pass. If moving over a lane is not possible, motorists must at least slow down. Failing to do this may result in a fine of $250.

Driving while impaired

If you have a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 percent, you may face DWI charges. Minimum consequences include a $200 fine and imprisonment between one to 30 days. Maximum consequences for drunk driving are a $4,000 fine and imprisonment between 30 days and two years.

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