Drunk driving fatalities exceed the national average in North Carolina as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state imposes serious penalties for driving while intoxicated to help prevent these catastrophic accidents.

Review the possible penalties for North Carolina DWI before facing a court date for this charge.

Level V DWI

This charge usually applies to first-time offenders. Misdemeanor penalties include:

  • A minimum of 24 hours and up to 60 hours in jail
  • 24 hours of community service and 30-day license suspension in lieu of jail time
  • Up to $200 in fines

Level IV DWI

North Carolina uses this charge for individuals who have a prior DWI or who have another negative factor, such as excessive blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest. Penalties may include:

  • A minimum of 48 hours and up to 12 days in jail
  • 48 hours of community service and 60-day license suspension in lieu of jail time
  • Up to $500 in fines

Level III DWI

This charge applies when a person has a significant negative factor, such as a subsequent DWI during a license suspension period. Offenders can receive:

  • A minimum of 72 hours and up to six months in jail
  • 72 hours of community service and 90-day license suspension in lieu of jail time
  • Up to $1,000 in fines

North Carolina reserves longer jail sentences and higher fines for Level II and I DWI cases. Typically, these offenses involve bodily harm or wrongful death in addition to DWI. A conviction can result in up to a year in jail.