North Carolina DUI Laws

North Carolina DUI/DWI Laws

North Carolina DUI/DWI law penalties, fines, requirements & information.

North Carolina DUI/DWI Laws Overview and Common DUI/DWI Questions

Will I have to serve jail time if I’m convicted of a DUI in North Carolina?’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue83e’ font=’entypo-fontello’]

Yes, If convicted of a DUI offense in North Carolina you may face 24 hours to a year in jail.

I’ve been arrested for DUI in North Carolina, what should I do?

If you’ve been arrested for DUI / DWI in North Carolina, the first thing you should do is talk with an experienced North Carolina DUI lawyer!  North Carolina DUI laws are complex and an experienced North Carolina DUI lawyer will be able to negotiate the best possible outcome.  Call 1.855.700.0754 for a FREE North Carolina DUI consultation with a local DUI lawyer.

What is the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit in North Carlina?

Like all other states in America, the BAC legal limit in North Carolina for individuals over 21 is .08%.  North Carolina does have a zero-tolerance law meaning anyone under the age of 21 will be charged with DUI for a BAC greater than .02%.  The commercial BAC limit in North Carolina is .04%.  Anyone found to have a BAC higher than these limits will be charged with DUI in the state of North Carolina.

Does North Carolina have an aggravated DUI charge if my BAC is extremely high?

Yes, North Carolina does have a enhanced or aggravated DUI charge if your BAC limit is over 0.18%

Do I have to take a field sobriety test or chemical test in North Carolina?

North Carolina DUI laws include “implied consent”, which means you are required to submit to field sobriety tests or chemical testing, or you will face serious consequences.

If I’m convicted of DUI in North Carolina will I lose my car?

It is a possibility that your vehicle could be confiscated if you are charged with a DUI offense in North Carolina.

Can I lose my drivers license if convicted of DUI / DWI in North Carolina?

Yes, license suspension or revocation will occur if you are convicted of DUI / DWI in North Carolina.  The duration of a suspension varies by the type of DUI offense in North Carolina.

Will I have to use an ignition interlock device if I’m convicted of DUI in North Carolina?

Yes, North Carolina DUI laws require the use of ignition interlock devices upon a DUI conviction.

How much does a DUI in North Carolina cost?

A first time DUI conviction in North Carolina can cost between $7,000 – $10,000.

Will an North Carolina DUI conviction increase my auto insurance?

Yes, definitely.  If you are convicted of DUI / DWI in North Carolina, your insurance could increase by $3,600 to $6,000.


Overview of North Carolina DUI / DWI Laws: Penalties, Fines, Jail Time & Requirements

Penalties & Fines For First DUI Conviction in North Carolina

  • Imprisonment – 4 hours (for level 5 offender) (however, if 3 aggravated factors are present — Level 1A —  minimum of 12 months)
  • Fine – $200 (for level 5 offender)
  • Mandatory – Alcohol assessment &  treatment
  • Drivers license suspension – 60 days to 1 year

Penalties & Fines For Second DUI Conviction in North Carolina

  • Imprisonment – 4 days jail (If 3 aggravated factors are present — Level 1A —  minimum of 12 months.)
  • Fine – Ranges depending on level
  • Mandatory – Alcohol assessment &  treatment with ignition interlock device
  • Drivers license suspension – 1 to 4 years (if previous DWI was within 3 years)

Penalties & Fines For Third DUI Conviction and Subsequent DUI’s Within 10 Years in North Carolina

  • Imprisonment – 14-30 days jail (up to two years) (If 3 aggravated factors are present — Level 1A —  minimum of 12 months.)
  • Mandatory – Alcohol assessment &  treatment with ignition interlock device
  • Fine – Ranges depending on level
  • Drivers license suspension – 1 year to permanent (if last previous was within 5 years)

North Carolina DUI Laws Apply To All Counties in North Carolina


  • Alamance County
  • Alexander County
  • Alleghany County
  • Anson County
  • Ashe County
  • Avery County
  • Beaufort County
  • Bertie County
  • Bladen County
  • Brunswick County
  • Buncombe County
  • Burke County
  • Cabarrus County
  • Caldwell County
  • Camden County
  • Carteret County
  • Caswell County
  • Catawba County
  • Chatham County
  • Cherokee  County
  • Chowan County
  • Clay County
  • Cleveland County
  • Columbus County
  • Craven County


  • Cumberland County
  • Currituck County
  • Dare County
  • Davidson County
  • Davie County
  • Duplin County
  • Durham County
  • Edgecombe County
  • Forsyth County
  • Franklin County
  • Gaston County
  • Gates County
  • Graham County
  • Granville County
  • Greene County
  • Guilford County
  • Halifax County
  • Harnett County
  • Haywood County
  • Henderson County
  • Hertford County
  • Hoke County
  • Hyde County
  • Iredell County
  • Jackson County


  • Johnston County
  • Jones County
  • Lee County
  • Lenoir County
  • Lincoln County
  • McDowell County
  • Macon County
  • Madison County
  • Martin County
  • Mecklenburg County
  • Mitchell County
  • Montgomery County
  • Moore County
  • Nash County
  • New Hanover County
  • Northampton County
  • Onslow County
  • Orange County
  • Pamlico County
  • Pasquotank County
  • Pender County
  • Perquimans County
  • Person County
  • Pitt County
  • Polk County


  • Randolph County
  • Richmond County
  • Robeson County
  • Rockingham County
  • Rowan County
  • Rutherford County
  • Sampson County
  • Scotland County
  • Stanly County
  • Stokes County
  • Surry County
  • Swain County
  • Transylvania County
  • Tyrrell County
  • Union County
  • Vance County
  • Wake County
  • Warren County
  • Washington County
  • Watauga County
  • Wayne County
  • Wilkes County
  • Wilson County
  • Yadkin County
  • Yancey County