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If you are charged with a DWI in Raleigh or elsewhere in North Carolina and you refuse to submit to a chemical analysis of your breath (in other words, the large breathalyzer machine at the police station — but not the portable unit that some officers carry in their squad cars), you will face revocation of your license for an entire year, just for the refusal — unless you contest it.  The statute reads as follows:

§ 20‑16.5.  Immediate civil license revocation for certain persons charged with implied‑consent offenses.

(b)        Revocations for Persons Who Refuse Chemical Analyses or Who Are Charged With Certain Implied‑Consent Offenses. – A person’s driver’s license is subject to revocation under this section if:

(1)        A law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed an offense subject to the implied‑consent provisions of G.S. 20‑16.2;(2)        The person is charged with that offense as provided in G.S. 20‑16.2(a);(3)        The law enforcement officer and the chemical analyst comply with the procedures of G.S. 20‑16.2 and G.S. 20‑139.1 in requiring the person’s submission to or procuring a chemical analysis; and(4)        The person:a.         Willfully refuses to submit to the chemical analysis;b.         Has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more within a relevant time after the driving;c.         Has an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more at any relevant time after the driving of a commercial motor vehicle; ord.         Has any alcohol concentration at any relevant time after the driving and the person is under 21 years of age.


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.

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Ben is an experienced trial lawyer who earned his law degree from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He was trained in trial practice at the nation’s preeminent Public Defender agency, the federally funded Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, described by United States Attorney General Eric Holder as “the best public defender office in the country.”

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