Under certain circumstances when your license is revoked following a DWI conviction in North Carolina, you may be required to install an Ignition Interlock System (IIS) into your vehicle before you’re able to drive again. The IIS is a device that is hard-wired into your vehicle’s ignition, which requires you to blow into a breathalyzer prior to operating your vehicle. Each system will be coded with a specific BAC threshold, which is determined by the factors that led to the requirement in each case.
Generally, three different scenarios trigger the interlock requirement:
(1) Conviction for a DWI with a BAC reading of 0.15 or higher;
(2) Conviction for a DWI by a person with a prior impaired driving conviction within 7 years of the offense in the new case; or
(3) Conviction for a DWI in the Aggravated Level One (most severe) sentencing category.
In any of these cases, the North Carolina DMV is required by statute to place a restriction on your license after the revocation period ends, requiring the installation of an Ignition Interlock System.
If the IIS is required solely due to a conviction for a DWI with a BAC of 0.15 or higher, the statute requires a BAC threshold of 0.04, which means your BAC must be less than 0.04 in order for the car to start. If the requirement is triggered by either a prior impaired driving conviction in the last 7 years or an Aggravated Level One sentence, the IIS will be installed with a 0.00 limit — that is, zero tolerance. In addition, if the requirement is triggered by a BAC of 0.15 or higher, and you are convicted in the same case for (a) driving a commercial vehicle while impaired, (b) driving after consuming alcohol or drugs while under 21, (c) any felony offense involving injury or death under NCGS 20-141.4, or (d) manslaughter or negligent homicide resulting from impaired driving.
Raleigh DWI lawyer Ben Hiltzheimer is a criminal lawyer in Raleigh, North Carolina, who represents individuals charged with DWIs and the full spectrum of misdemeanors and felonies. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation at (919) 727-9227.