Dealing with a Civil Revocation following a DWI Arrest
When you are arrested for a DWI, if you blow a .08 or higher (or refuse to blow), your license is immediately revoked for a period of 30 days. After 10 days, you may petition the Court for a limited driving privilege. This guide walks you through the steps and eligibility requirements for the LDP.
What is the Civil Revocation?Under North Carolina Law, when a suspect is arrested for a DWI, their license is immediately revoked if they registered a BAC of .08 or higher or they refused to submit to blood or breath test. While the length of the revocation is 30 days, such an individual remains revoked indefinitely unless they pay $100 to the clerk of court at the end of their 30 day revocation - in effect, reinstating their license. During the 30 days, an individual can either (1) refrain from driving, (2) file a motion with the Court to contest the revocation, or (3) apply for a limited driving privilege to be allowed to drive during certain hours for certain purposes.
Eligibility Requirements for the Limited Driving PrivilegeIn order to be eligible for the Limited Privilege, an individual must meet the following requirements. (1) They had an active driver's license or a license that had been expired for less than one year at the time of the DWI. (2) They don't have any other pending DWIs or DWI convictions since the revocation went into effect. (3) Their license has been revoked for at least 10 days. (4) They have submitted themselves to an alcohol assessment at an approved assessment provider and agreed to enroll in any recommended treatment. (5) They have active liability insurance. Note that a privilege is discretionary for the Court - meaning you can be eligible but a judge can still choose not to grant you one.
So what do you need to do?If you want a limited privilege, the first step is to get the alcohol assessment and sign up for the recommended treatment. A link to authorized locations in North Carolina by county is included in this guide. Next you need to get your paperwork in order. You will need 3 copies of the petition for a limited privilege and 3 copies of the privilege itself. The Court expects you to fill all of this out for yourself. You will need a DL123 form which you can get from your insurance agent - its just a piece of paper proving that you have liability insurance. You will need a copy of your driving record. If you are applying for hours that are more broad than M-F 6AM to 8PM, you will need written justification for those additional hours (a letter from your boss, school, or on your company letterhead if you are self employed), and you will need $100 which is the cost of the privilege. You file the petition on the 9th day of your revocation and show up with the privilege and all of your paperwork on the 10th day to get it signed by the judge.
What does the privilege cover?A typical privilege allows you to drive Monday thru Friday from 6AM to 8PM. Those hours can be extended when necessary with sufficient documentation. You can never drive with any alcohol in your system at all on a Limited Driving Privilege. The LDP covers days 11-30 of the Civil Revocation. Do not forget to pay the Civil Revocation Fee ($100) on the 30th day to get your full license back. The Privilege is meaningless after the 30th day of the Revocation but your license is still revoked.