Drivers in North Carolina are subject to strict laws regarding chemical impairment. People should not get behind the wheel anytime they feel the impact of mind-altering substances like alcohol, prohibited drugs and prescription medication.
They also have to ensure that their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) does not exceed the legal limit for their license type. Younger drivers and those in control of commercial vehicles often have to adhere to very strict rules limiting their BAC while driving.
Someone arrested for and accused of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense may end up sentenced to jail or ordered to pay fines. They could also lose their driving privileges. Sometimes, the state requires that you install an ignition interlock device (IID) to start driving again. You can typically only drive a vehicle with an IID installed and will face penalties if you drive a vehicle without one. When is an IID necessary after a North Carolina DWI?
When you have another offense on record
Repeat offenders are often subject to IID requirements after pleading guilty or getting convicted. Someone who has already broken the same law twice could very likely do so again in the future.
Needing to install an IID in the vehicle and use it before driving can help someone develop good habits about when they drive. Anyone who has another DWI on their record from within the last seven years will likely need to install an IID to regain their license.
When you have a high BAC
One of the ways that police officers determine the penalties that you face is by establishing your BAC at the time of your arrest. The legal limit for most drivers is 0.08%. Those with a BAC of 0.15% or higher at the time of a traffic stop may be subject to an IID requirement when they want to get their license back, even if this was their first impaired driving offense.
Installing an IID in your vehicle will cost hundreds of dollars, but not having your driving privileges could potentially cost more than that. Learning more about the possible consequences of DWI charges will help North Carolina drivers better protect themselves.