LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Bill Powers

20-28. Unlawful to Drive While License Revoked

20-28. Unlawful to drive while license revoked, after notification, or while disqualified. (a) Driving While License Revoked. – Except as provided in subsections (a1) or (a2) of this section, any person whose drivers license has been revoked who drives any motor vehicle upon the highways of the State while the license is revoked is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor. (a1) Driving While License Revoked for Impaired Driving. – Any person whose drivers license has been revoked for an impaired driving revocation as defined in G.S. 20-28.2(a) and who drives any motor vehicle upon the highways of the State is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Upon conviction, the person's license shall be revoked for an additional period of one year for the first offense, two years for the second offense, and permanently for a third or subsequent offense. If the person's license was originally revoked for an impaired driving revocation, the court may order as a condition of probation that the offender abstain from alcohol consumption and verify compliance by use of a continuous alcohol monitoring system, of a type approved by the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety, for a minimum period of 90 days. The restoree of a revoked drivers license who operates a motor vehicle upon the highways of the State without maintaining financial responsibility as provided by law shall be punished as for driving without a license. (a2) Driving Without Reclaiming License. – A person convicted under subsection (a) or (a1) of this section shall be punished as if the person had been convicted of driving without a license under G.S. 20-35 if the person demonstrates to the court that either of the following is true: (1) At the time of the offense, the person's license was revoked solely under G.S. 20-16.5 and one of the following applies: a. The offense occurred more than 45 days after the effective date of a revocation order issued under G.S. 20-16.5(f) and the period of revocation was 45 days as provided under subdivision (3) of that subsection; or b. The offense occurred more than 30 days after the effective date of the revocation order issued under any other provision of G.S. 20-16.5. (2) At the time of the offense the person had met the requirements of G.S. 50-13.12, or G.S. 110-142.2 and was eligible for reinstatement of the person's drivers license privilege as provided therein. In addition, a person punished under this subsection shall be treated for drivers license and insurance rating purposes as if the person had been convicted of driving without a license under G.S. 20-35, and the conviction report sent to the Division must indicate that the person is to be so treated. (a3) Driving After Notification or Failure to Appear. – A person shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if: (1) The person operates a motor vehicle upon a highway while that person's license is revoked for an impaired drivers license revocation after the Division has sent notification in accordance with G.S. 20-48; or (2) The person fails to appear for two years from the date of the charge after being charged with an implied-consent offense. Upon conviction, the person's drivers license shall be revoked for an additional period of one year for the first offense, two years for the second offense, and permanently for a third or subsequent offense. The restoree of a revoked drivers license who operates a motor vehicle upon the highways of the State without maintaining

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When Person May Apply for License. – A person whose license has been revoked may apply for a license as follows: (1) If revoked under subsection (a1) of this section for one year, the person may apply for a license after 90 days. (2) If punished under subsection (a2) of this section and the original revocation was pursuant to G.S. 20-16.5, in order to obtain reinstatement of a drivers license, the person must obtain a substance abuse assessment and show proof of financial responsibility to the Division. If the assessment recommends education or treatment, the person must complete the education or treatment within the time limits specified by the Division. (3) If revoked under subsection (a3) of this section for one year, the person may apply for a license after one year. (4) If revoked under this section for two years, the person may apply for a license after one year. (5) If revoked under this section permanently, the person may apply for a license after three years. (c1) Upon the filing of an application the Division may, with or without a hearing, issue a new license upon satisfactory proof that the former licensee has not been convicted of a moving violation under this Chapter or the laws of another state, a violation of any provision of the alcoholic beverage laws of this State or another state, or a violation of any provisions of the drug laws of this State or another state when any of these violations occurred during the revocation period. For purposes of this subsection, a violation of subsection (a) of this section shall not be considered a moving violation. (c2) The Division may impose any restrictions or conditions on the new license that the Division considers appropriate for the balance of the revocation period. When the revocation period is permanent, the restrictions and conditions imposed by the Division may not exceed three years. (c3) A person whose license is revoked for violation of subsection (a1) of this section where the person's license was originally revoked for an impaired driving revocation, or a person whose license is revoked for a violation of subsection (a3) of this section, may only have the license conditionally restored by the Division pursuant to the provisions of subsection (c4) of this section. (c4) For a conditional restoration under subsection (c3) of this section, the Division shall require at a minimum that the driver obtain a substance abuse assessment prior to issuance of a license and show proof of financial responsibility. If the substance abuse assessment recommends education or treatment, the person must complete the education or treatment within the time limits specified. If the assessment determines that the person abuses alcohol, the Division shall require the person to install and use an ignition interlock system on any vehicles that are to be driven by that person for the period of time that the conditional restoration is active.

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