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How Does North Carolina's DWI Laws Stack-Up to Neighbors?

With Labor Day now in the past, many drunk drivers picked up and charged for drunk driving over the holiday weekend probably feel that the DWI laws in North Carolina are sufficient severe...if not too severe. Conversely, the victims and families of victims injured by drunk drivers probably believe they are not severe enough.

Penalties for Drunk Drinking Conviction

Usually, first time drunk driving convictions in North Carolina carry a $1,000 fine, loss of driver's license for one year and a six-month suspended jail sentence or community service - however given that DWI laws can be complex, sentencing can vary.

When analyzing the severity of North Carolina drunk driving laws, it may also be helpful to compare them to those in other U.S. states. In South Carolina, for example, drunk drivers only lose their license for six months, with jail time of three months or community service of 30 days. Tennessee has jail sentences of up to 11 months, one year loss of license and an increased fine of $1,500. Georgia and Florida also have DWI law similar to that of North Carolina.

However, even though North Carolina's DWI laws are similar to other states in the region, some believe this does indicate they are severe enough, especially with repeat offenders.

While it remains to be seen whether DWI laws in North Carolina will ever change, what is likely certain is that drunk driving accidents will continue to occur - injuring some, and killing others.

Source: WFMY News 2, "How NC's DWI Laws Compare To Other States," Faith Abubey, August 9, 2012

Our firm often handles situations in which motorists and their passengers are injured, or even killed, by drunk drivers. If you would like to learn more about our personal injury practice, please visit our North Carolina Drunk Driving Accident page.

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