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How to Get A Limited Driving Privilege

In North Carolina, the Division of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) will revoke a driver’s license immediately for thirty (30) days if the driver is charged with Driving While Impaired (“DWI”). Additionally, the DMV will revoke a driver’s license for at least one (1) year following a conviction of a DWI, Driving After Consumption, or Driving While License Revoked (“DWLR”) impaired revocation. Thus, the most common question I receive from clients who have recently been charged or convicted with an impaired offense is, “when can I start driving?” The answer largely depends on your eligibility to receive a limited driving privilege.

If you have recently been charged with DWI or have recently been convicted of a DWI or Driving After Consuming, you may be eligible for a Limited Driving Privilege. A Limited Driving Privilege allows you to legally drive, when your license is otherwise suspended.

Pre-Trial DWI Limited Driving Privilege

Immediately after receiving a DWI charge, a driver’s license is suspended for a period of thirty (30) days. However, many drivers are eligible for a pre-trial limited driving privilege during that time.

To qualify for a Pre-Trial DWI Limited Driving Privilege, all of the following requirements must be met:

  1. At the time of the offense, the applicant either had a valid driver’s license or a license that had been expired for less than a year;
  2. The applicant does not have any other unresolved pending charges involving impaired driving, and does not have any additional convictions for impaired driving since being charged with the current offense;
  3. The applicant’s license has been revoked for at least ten (10) days if the revocation period is thirty (30) days; and
  4. The applicant has obtained a substance abuse assessment from a registered mental health facility.

Upon a court’s finding that each requirement is met, a driver will be granted a Limited Driving Privilege, which allows the applicant to drive between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, for the limited purposes of work, education, household maintenance, and substance abuse treatment. Additionally, upon submitting proof from your employer, the Court may also grant you the ability to drive on the weekends and outside of the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. if your job requires it.

Post-Trial DWI or Driving After Consuming Limited Driving Privilege

In North Carolina, the DMV suspends a driver’s license for at least one (1) year after a DWI conviction. However, in certain instances, a driver may be eligible for a Limited Driving Privilege.

To qualify for a Post-Trial DWI or Driving After Consuming Limited Driving Privilege a court must find all of the following:

  1. At the time of the offense, the applicant either had a valid driver’s license or a license that had been expired for less than a year;
  2. The applicant had not been convicted of an offense involving impaired driving within the last seven (7) years;
  3. An applicant who was convicted of a DWI was not sentenced as a level one (1) or two (2);
  4. An applicant who was convicted of Driving After Consuming was either 18, 19, or 20 years old at the time of offense, and has not previously been convicted of a impaired driving offense;
  5. The applicant does not have any subsequent convictions for impaired driving since being charged;
  6. This is the only revocation on the applicant’s license;
  7. The applicant has completed a substance abuse assessment and complied with any recommended treatment; and
  8. The applicant has furnished the court with proof of financial responsibility (DL-123 form).

Similar to a Pre-Trial Limited Driving Privilege, if granted, the driver will be able to drive between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, for the limited purposes of work, education, and household maintenance. Additionally, upon submitting proof from your employer, the Court may also grant you the ability to drive on the weekends and outside of the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. if your job requires it.

Lastly, if you have recently been convicted of a DWLR impaired revocation, then you may be eligible for a conditional restoration of your license.

DWLR- Impaired revocation Conditional Restoration

Under N.C.G.S. §20-28(c3) a driver who has been convicted of a DWLR impaired revocation, may have his/her license conditionally restored by the DMV.

To qualify for a conditional restoration the following requirements must be met:

  1. The applicant has completed a substance abuse assessment and complied with any recommended treatment;
  2. The applicant provides proof of financial responsibility (DL-123 form);
  3. This is the only revocation on the applicant’s license;
  4. The applicant has no pending or outstanding traffic tickets; and
  5. The applicant is approved for conditional restoration by a DMV hearing officer.

If granted, the conditional restoration allows you to drive pursuant to any stated restrictions until the end of the suspension date. Once the suspension date is over, you must go to the DMV and request a duplicate license.

Applying and receiving a Limited Driving Privilege or Conditional Restoration can be confusing and time consuming. Every situation is unique and may contain additional requirements before being approved to drive. Contact an attorney at Pinnacle Law today to see if you are eligible to apply for a limited driving privilege or conditional restoration.

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