Driving Privileges & Restricted Licenses After a DWI / DUI

Even if Convicted of DWI, Most People Are Eligible for a Limited Driving Privilege To Drive To Work Or School

A work license or limited driving privilege can be crucial for individuals who require a vehicle for work, school or family responsibilities. If your license has been revoked, you likely understand the significance of these privileges. When individuals charged with DWI seek legal assistance, their initial query is typically related to obtaining a work privilege and whether they will be allowed to drive if they are found guilty. We have a track record of successfully acquiring driving privileges for all eligible clients.

There are different types of Limited Driving Privileges (LDPs) based on the situation, including pre-trial, post-conviction, and refusal. It is essential to keep in mind that driving on an LDP means operating a vehicle on a restricted license, not a regular driver’s license. The LDP permits driving for specific purposes such as commuting to work or school. It’s important to note that an LDP may also be referred to as a work license, driving privilege, or LDP, and these terms are interchangeable.

The requirements for obtaining a work privilege and guidelines for LDPs are similar in all categories of restricted licenses, and the criteria for obtaining them will be discussed below.

Driving | Pre-Trial

If you were arrested for DWI and your breath test showed a result of 0.08 or higher on the EC/IR II, your license will automatically be revoked for 30 days. However, after the 10th day of the revocation period, you may be eligible for a limited driving privilege. To qualify for this privilege, you must meet certain requirements, including having a valid license or one that expired less than a year ago at the time you were stopped, no conviction for DWI in the past seven years, and no additional charges for DWI since your arrest.

Additionally, you must provide proof of insurance (in the form of a DL 123), obtain a substance abuse assessment from an approved provider (which we can help you find), and pay a $100 fee to the clerk of court. It’s crucial to note that a pre-trial privilege is only valid until the 30th day after your DWI charge, after which your restricted license expires. To have your regular driver’s license reinstated, you must pay a $50 restoration fee. Once reinstated, you can keep your license unless it is revoked for conviction, at which point you may become eligible for a driving privilege once again.

Driving | Post-Trial

To obtain a driving privilege after being convicted of DWI, you must fulfill all of the requirements for the pretrial privilege. However, if your breath test showed a result of 0.15 or higher, you must have an interlock device installed in your car, and you will lose your license for 45 days without the possibility of a privilege before becoming
eligible. In the case of a level I or II DWI conviction, you will not be eligible for any privilege for an entire year (refer to DWI sentencing).

Driving | Refusal Cases

If you refused to take the breath test, the DMV will inform you that your license will be revoked for one year. You won’t be able to get a driving privilege for the first six months. After the initial six months have passed, you may be eligible to apply for a limited driving privilege, but the DMV will decide whether to grant it or not.

A Little More Information on Driving Privileges

The typical hours for limited driving privileges are Monday through Friday, from 6 AM to 8 PM. If you require driving outside of these hours for work or school, you will need a letter from your employer or a class schedule from school stating the specific reasons and times for driving. If you are self-employed, a letter on your personal letterhead is usually acceptable.

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Need Some Guidance?

If you have any further questions about the DWI process (have a look at our FAQs) or need something case specific, feel free to reach out. I am always happy to review a case and give you honest feedback on where you stand and how it should be addressed. I handle DWI defenses out of the following North Carolina areas: All of Pender County (Hampstead, Topsail, Burgaw, Surf City, Atkinson) and New Hanover (Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Ogden, Monkey Junction).

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