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The most important reason for not drinking and driving is that it could injure or kill you and/or other drivers. In a perfect world, that reason alone would encourage most motorists to not get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. But, of course, it’s not a perfect world and drivers will continue to get speeding tickets, DUI/DWI, and a variety of other traffic tickets requiring the help of an experienced traffic attorney.

 Thankfully, for the protection of drivers in Charlotte and across North Carolina, the Department of Motor Vehicles provides some pretty good incentives for not driving and drinking, including some pretty hefty fines. Here are the DMV’s five levels regarding DWI, or as we like to call them, the top five reasons for not drinking and driving in Charlotte!

Level V

Punishable by a fine up to $200 and a minimum jail sentence of 24 hours and a maximum of 60 days. A judge can suspend the sentence but upon completion that the driver spends 24 hours in jail, perform 24 hours of community service or not operate a vehicle for 30 days.

Level IV

Punishable by a fine up to $500 and a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours and a maximum of 120 days. A judge can suspend the sentence but upon completion that the driver spends 48 hours in jail, perform 48 hours of community service or not operate a vehicle for 60 days.

Level III

Punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and a minimum jail sentence of 72 hours and a maximum of six months. A judge can suspend the sentence only upon completion that the driver spends at least 72 hours in jail, perform 72 hours of community service or not operate a vehicle for 90 days.

Level II

Punishable by a fine up to $2,000 and a minimum jail sentence of seven days and a maximum of one year. A judge CANNOT suspend the minimum sentence.

Level I

Punishable by a fine up to $4,000 and a minimum jail sentence of 30 days and a maximum of two years. A judge CANNOT suspend the minimum sentence.

Level I and II drivers are repeat offenders, persons whose license are revoked, impaired drivers, impaired drivers who are transporting young children and impaired drivers who hurt someone in a crash. Impaired drivers must complete a substance abuse assessment and comply with any recommended treatment as a condition for having their driver’s license restored at the end of the revocation period.

 Felony DWI

For Habitual DWI offenders, drivers who have had three prior DWI convictions within the past seven years, DWI becomes a more severe felony. But more importantly, the Habitual DWI statute now mandates a minimum active jail term of one year — a sentence that CANNOT be suspended. Offenders must also go through a substance abuse program while in jail or as a condition of parole.

Ok, so we gave you six good reasons instead of five. Again, one should be enough, but hopefully, the more reasons you have for not drinking and driving, the better. If you are unfortunate enough to get a DWI/DUI in Charlotte, or any other traffic ticket, you can rest a little easier knowing that the experienced traffic  attorneys at the Jason Reece Law Firm are right here to represent you.