If you face charges of driving while impaired in North Carolina, you could receive jail time for a conviction. The state has defined five levels of DWI that vary based on the aggravating (negative) and mitigating (positive) factors in your case.
Review the circumstances in which DWI may carry a jail sentence in North Carolina.
The state has established mandatory minimum and maximum jail sentences for each DWI level as follows:
- 30 days to two years in jail for Level I DWI, the most severe
- Seven days to one year in jail for Level II DWI
- 72 hours to six months in jail for Level III DWI
- 48 hours to 120 days for Level IV DWI
- 24 hours to 60 days in jail for Level V DWI
Factors that may lead to a less severe DWI conviction include your willingness to attend a substance use treatment program, a lack of prior convictions and a clean driving record. You may receive more severe charges if you get a DWI with minors in the car, were speeding or driving recklessly at the time of arrest, caused another person’s injury or death, caused property damage, or have previous DWIs.
You may qualify for a suspended sentence if charged with a Level V, IV or III DWI. You must complete community service hours and a license suspension for 30 to 90 days depending on the severity of your DWI.
If you struggle to quit drinking or using substances, you can apply for DWI treatment court in North Carolina. You can potentially receive a suspended sentence after completing court-supervised treatment.