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Limited Driving Privilege in North Carolina - LEGAL REFERENCE MATERIALS - Part B

Posted by attorney F. Powers

(3) If the applicant is required to drive to and from work at regular times but is unable to specify the places at which work is to be performed, the limited driving privilege must specify the general times and geographic boundaries in which the applicant will be driving, and restrict driving to those times and within those boundaries.

(4) If the applicant can specify neither the times nor places in which he will be driving to and from work, or if he is required to drive during these nonstandard working hours as a condition of employment, the limited driving privilege must specify the geographic boundaries in which he will drive and restrict driving to that within those boundaries.

The limited driving privilege must state the name and address of the applicant's place of work or employer, and may include other information and restrictions applicable to work-related driving, in the discretion of the court.

(g2) Driving for Other than Work-Related Purposes. – A limited driving privilege may not allow driving for maintenance of the household except during standard working hours, and the limited driving privilege may contain any additional restrictions on that driving, in the discretion of the court. The limited driving privilege must authorize driving essential to the completion of any community work assignments, course of instruction at an Alcohol and Drug Education Traffic School, or substance abuse assessment or treatment, to which the applicant is ordered by the court as a condition of probation for the impaired driving conviction. If this driving will occur during nonstandard working hours, the limited driving privilege must specify the same limitations required by subsection (g1) for work-related driving during those hours, and it must include or have attached to it the name and address of the Alcohol and Drug Education Traffic School, the community service coordinator, or mental health treatment facility to which the applicant is assigned. Driving for educational purposes other than the course of instruction at an Alcohol and Drug Education Traffic School is subject to the same limitations applicable to work related driving under subsections (g) and (g1).

(g3) Ignition Interlock Allowed. – A judge may include all of the following in a limited driving privilege order:

(1) A restriction that the applicant may operate only a designated motor vehicle.

(2) A requirement that the designated motor vehicle be equipped with a functioning ignition interlock system of a type approved by the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall not unreasonably withhold approval of an ignition interlock system and shall consult with the Division of Purchase and Contract in the Department of Administration to ensure that potential vendors are not discriminated against.

(3) A requirement that the applicant personally activate the ignition interlock system before driving the motor vehicle.

(g4) The restrictions set forth in subsection (g3) and (g5) of this section do not apply to a motor vehicle that meets all of the following requirements:

(1) Is owned by the applicant's employer.

(2) Is operated by the applicant solely for work-related purposes.

(3) Its owner has filed with the court a written document authorizing the applicant to drive the vehicle, for work-related purposes, under the authority of a limited driving privilege.

(g5) Ignition Interlock Required. – If a person's drivers license is revoked for a conviction of G.S. 20-138.1, and the person had an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more, a judge shall include all of the following in a limited driving privilege order:

(1) A restriction that the applicant may operate only a designated motor vehicle.

(2) A requirement that the designated motor vehicle be equipped with a functioning ignition interlock system of a type approved by the Commissioner, which is set to prohibit driving with an alcohol concentration of greater than 0.00. The Commissioner shall not unreasonably withhold approval of an ignition interlock system and shall consult with the Division of Purchase and Contract in the Department of Administration to ensure that potential vendors are not discriminated against.

(3) A requirement that the applicant personally activate the ignition interlock system before driving the motor vehicle.

For purposes of this subsection, the results of a chemical analysis presented at trial or sentencing shall be sufficient to prove a person's alcohol concentration, shall be conclusive, and shall not be subject to modification by any party, with or without approval by the court.

(h) Other Mandatory and Permissive Conditions or Restrictions. – In all limited driving privileges the judge shall also include a restriction that the applicant not consume alcohol while driving or drive at any time while he has remaining in his body any alcohol or controlled substance previously consumed, unless the controlled substance was lawfully obtained and taken in therapeutically appropriate amounts. The judge may impose any other reasonable restrictions or conditions necessary to achieve the purposes of this section.

(i) Modification or Revocation of Privilege. – A judge who issues a limited driving privilege is authorized to modify or revoke the limited driving privilege upon a showing that the circumstances have changed sufficiently to justify modification or revocation. If the judge who issued the privilege is not presiding in the court in which the privilege was issued, a presiding judge in that court may modify or revoke a privilege in accordance with this subsection. The judge must indicate in the order of modification or revocation the reasons for the order, or he must make specific findings indicating the reason for the order and those findings must be entered in the record of the case.

(j) Effect of Violation of Restriction. – A holder of a limited driving privilege who violates any of its restrictions commits the offense of driving while his license is revoked under G.S. 20-28(a) and is subject to punishment and license revocation as provided in that section. If a law-enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the holder of a limited driving privilege has consumed alcohol while driving or has driven while he has remaining in his body any alcohol previously consumed, the suspected offense of driving while license is revoked is an alcohol-related offense subject to the implied-consent provisions of G.S. 20-16.2. If a holder of a limited driving privilege is charged with driving while license revoked by violating a restriction contained in his limited driving privilege, and a judicial official determines that there is probable cause for the charge, the limited driving privilege is suspended pending the resolution of the case, and the judicial official must require the holder to surrender the limited driving privilege. The judicial official must also notify the holder that he is not entitled to drive until his case is resolved.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alcohol screening test may be administered to a driver suspected of violating this section, and the results of an alcohol screening test or the driver's refusal to submit may be used by a law enforcement officer, a court, or an administrative agency in determining if alcohol was present in the driver's body. No alcohol screening tests are valid under this section unless the device used is one approved by the Department of Health and Human Services, and the screening test is conducted in accordance with the applicable regulations of the Department as to the manner of its use.

(j1) Effect of Violation of Community Service Requirement. – Section of Community Corrections of the Division of Adult Correction staff shall report significant violations of the terms of a probation judgment related to community service to the court that ordered the community service. The court shall then conduct a hearing to determine if there was a willful failure to comply. The hearing may be held in the district where the requirement was imposed, where the alleged violation occurred, or where the probationer resides. If the court determines that there was a willful failure to pay the prescribed fee or to complete the work as ordered within the applicable time limits, the court shall revoke any limited driving privilege issued in the impaired driving case until community service requirements have been met. In addition, the court may take any further action authorized by Article 82 of Chapter 15A of the General Statutes for violation of a condition of probation.

(k) Copy of Limited Driving Privilege to Division; Action Taken if Privilege Invalid. – The clerk of court or the child support enforcement agency must send a copy of any limited driving privilege issued in the county to the Division. A limited driving privilege that is not authorized by this section, G.S. 20-16.2(e1), 20-16.1, 50-13.12, or 110-142.2, or that does not contain the limitations required by law, is invalid. If the limited driving privilege is invalid on its face, the Division must immediately notify the court and the holder of the privilege that it considers the privilege void and that the Division records will not indicate that the holder has a limited driving privilege.

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