Limited Driving Privileges in North Carolina - STATUTORY REFERENCE MATERIALS - Part A

F. "Bill" William Powers

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DUI / DWI Attorney - Charlotte, NC

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Posted about 2 years ago. Applies to Mecklenburg County, NC, 1 helpful vote

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§ 20-179.3. Limited driving privilege.

(a) Definition of Limited Driving Privilege. – A limited driving privilege is a judgment issued in the discretion of a court for good cause shown authorizing a person with a revoked driver's license to drive for essential purposes related to any of the following:

(1) His employment.

(2) The maintenance of his household.

(3) His education.

(4) His court-ordered treatment or assessment.

(5) Community service ordered as a condition of the person's probation.

(6) Emergency medical care.

(b) Eligibility. –

(1) A person convicted of the offense of impaired driving under G.S. 20-138.1 iseligible for a limited driving privilege if:

a. At the time of the offense he held either a valid driver's license or a license that had been expired for less than one year;

b. At the time of the offense he had not within the preceding seven years been convicted of an offense involving impaired driving;

c. Punishment Level Three, Four, or Five was imposed for the offense of impaired driving;

d. Subsequent to the offense he has not been convicted of, or had an unresolved charge lodged against him for, an offense involving impaired driving; and

e. The person has obtained and filed with the court a substance abuse assessment of the type required by G.S. 20-17.6 for the restoration of a drivers license.

A person whose North Carolina driver's license is revoked because of a conviction in another jurisdiction substantially similar to impaired driving under G.S. 20-138.1 is eligible for a limited driving privilege if he would be eligible for it had the conviction occurred in North Carolina. Eligibility for a limited driving privilege following a revocation under G.S. 20-16.2(d) is governed by G.S. 20-16.2(e1).

(2) Any person whose licensing privileges are forfeited pursuant to G.S. 15A-1331A is eligible for a limited driving privilege if the court finds that at the time of the forfeiture, the person held either a valid drivers license or a drivers license that had been expired for less than one year and

a. The person is supporting existing dependents or must have a drivers license to be gainfully employed; or

b. The person has an existing dependent who requires serious medical treatment and the defendant is the only person able to provide transportation to the dependent to the health care facility where the dependent can receive the needed medical treatment.

The limited driving privilege granted under this subdivision must restrict the person to essential driving related to the purposes listed above, and any driving that is not related to those purposes is unlawful even though done at times and upon routes that may be authorized by the privilege.

(c) Privilege Not Effective until after Compliance with Court-Ordered Revocation. – A person convicted of an impaired driving offense may apply for a limited driving privilege at the time the judgment is entered. A person whose license is revoked because of a conviction in another jurisdiction substantially similar to impaired driving under G.S. 20-138.1 may apply for a limited driving privilege only after having completed at least 60 days of a court-imposed term of nonoperation of a motor vehicle, if the court in the other jurisdiction imposed such a term of nonoperation.

(c1) Privilege Restrictions for High-Risk Drivers. – Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any limited driving privilege issued to a person convicted of an impaired driving offense with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more at the time of the offense shall:

(1) Not become effective until at least 45 days after the final conviction under G.S. 20-138.1;

(2) Require the applicant to comply with the ignition interlock requirements of subsection (g5) of this section; and

(3) Restrict the applicant to driving only to and from the applicant's place of employment, the place the applicant is enrolled in school, any court ordered treatment or substance abuse education, and any ignition interlock service facility.

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.

(d) Application for and Scheduling of Subsequent Hearing. – The application for a limited driving privilege made at any time after the day of sentencing must be filed with the clerk in duplicate, and no hearing scheduled may be held until a reasonable time after the clerk files a copy of the application with the district attorney's office. The hearing must be scheduled before:

(1) The presiding judge at the applicant's trial if that judge is assigned to a court in the district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133 or superior court district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A-41.1, as the case may be, in which the conviction for impaired driving was imposed.

(2) The senior regular resident superior court judge of the superior court district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A-41.1 in which the conviction for impaired driving was imposed, if the presiding judge is not available within the district and the conviction was imposed in superior court.

(3) The chief district court judge of the district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133 in which the conviction for impaired driving was imposed, if the presiding judge is not available within the district and the conviction was imposed in district court.

If the applicant was convicted of an offense in another jurisdiction, the hearing must be scheduled before the chief district court judge of the district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133 in which he resides. G.S. 20-16.2(e1) governs the judge before whom a hearing is scheduled if the revocation was under G.S. 20-16.2(d). The hearing may be scheduled in any county within the district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133 or superior court district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A-41.1, as the case may be.

(e) Limited Basis for and Effect of Privilege. – A limited driving privilege issued under this section authorizes a person to drive if his license is revoked solely under G.S. 20-17(a)(2) or as a result of a conviction in another jurisdiction substantially similar to impaired driving under G.S. 20-138.1; if the person's license is revoked under any other statute, the limited driving privilege is invalid.

(f) Overall Provisions on Use of Privilege. – Every limited driving privilege must restrict the applicant to essential driving related to the purposes listed in subsection (a), and any driving that is not related to those purposes is unlawful even though done at times and upon routes that may be authorized by the privilege. If the privilege is granted, driving related to emergency medical care is authorized at any time and without restriction as to routes, but all other driving must be for a purpose and done within the restrictions specified in the privilege.

(f1) Definition of "Standard Working Hours". – Under this section, "standard working hours" are 6:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. on Monday through Friday.

(g) Driving for Work-Related Purposes in Standard Working Hours. – In a limited driving privilege, the court may authorize driving for work-related purposes during standard working hours without specifying the times and routes in which the driving must occur. If the applicant is not required to drive for essential work-related purposes except during standard working hours, the limited driving privilege must prohibit driving during nonstandard working hours unless the driving is for emergency medical care or is authorized by subsection (g2). 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.

(g1) Driving for Work-Related Purposes in Nonstandard Hours. – If the applicant is required to drive during nonstandard working hours for an essential work-related purpose, he must present documentation of that fact before the judge may authorize him to drive for this purpose during those hours. If the applicant is self-employed, the documentation must be attached to or made a part of the limited driving privilege. If the judge determines that it is necessary for the applicant to drive during nonstandard hours for a work-related purpose, he may authorize the applicant to drive subject to these limitations:

(1) If the applicant is required to drive to and from a specific place of work at regular times, the limited driving privilege must specify the general times and routes in which the applicant will be driving to and from work, and restrict driving to those times and routes.

(2) If the applicant is required to drive to and from work at a specific place, but is unable to specify the times at which that driving will occur, the limited driving privilege must specify the general routes in which the applicant will be driving to and from work, and restrict the driving to those general routes.

(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.

Additional Resources

North Carolina Limited Driving Privilege - STATUTORY REFERENCE

North Carolina DWI Attorney - Bill Powers

DWI Related License Reinstatement Information

TOP 100 IN NORTH CAROLINA - Bill Powers SuperLawyers - Criterion for Inclusion & Membership

Bill Powers - Best Lawyers in America - 2012 - Criterion for Inclusion

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