Without trying to be coy, the answer is "it depends." Would the arrest be based upon an outstanding Order for Arrest and/or Failure to Appear? If that is the case, process on the matter has begun and the statute of limitations would be "tolled." Failing to appear by the accused does NOT toll or prevent the prosecution of the case, at least on the basis of the statute of limitations. It could indeed affect the ability to present evidence or recall events or secure the attendance of witnesses. In fact, another criminal charge may be brought for "failure to appear," ostensibly because of the stated problems with the passage of time. Put simply, DWI cases are not "fine wines" where they get better with age, at least for the State. Is the question whether the statute of limitations question pretains to actually bringing charges and/or the formal process of being charged for the offense of impaired driving? In North Carolina, and there are some important caveats to consider. An DWI or Driving While Impaired offense is technically designated a misdemeanor. Having said that, there are special rules for the presentation and disposition of DWI cases in North Carolina. The general rule for misdemeanors is 2 years under North Carolina General Statute 15-1. State must issue valid process within 2 years. SEE LINKS BELOW for relevant statutory reference(s) and caselaw.