The 7 Essential Elements of a DWI in Wake County


  1. When you have been arrested for Driving While Impaired that means the police officer has found probable cause to believe that you are appreciably impaired, or essentially too drunk to drive.
  1. You will not be fully charged with a Raleigh DWI until you have been found with a .08 or above on the Intoximeter alcohol breath testing device or refusing to take the a breath test and receiving a blood draw after the police officer receives a warrant.
  1. The Raleigh police officer will usually base his or her probable cause from indicators of impairment, or clues signaling that you are under the influence. This can be anything from fumbling around while you are looking for your license, slurred speech, erratic driving, and an odor of alcohol on your breath.

  1. Before a police officer can pull you over he or she needs to have a reasonable suspicion. This is a very low standard to fulfill but it basically means that the officer has more than just a hunch that criminal activity is afoot. Speeding is not an indicator of impairment, but it can give rise to reasonable suspicion for the police officer to make the traffic stop.


  1. When you are arrested you have to forfeit your license for 30 days. Fortunately, the Matheson Law Office can get you back on the road and driving by filing for a limited driving privilege 10 days after your license revocation. This privilege will allow you to drive Monday through Friday from 6am to 9m. If you work outside of those hours all we would need is a letter from you employer. After the 30-day revocation period you will be able to obtain your license and your full privileges will be restored.


  1. You can receive your Limited Driving Privilege before your trial and after you are convicted. In order to obtain your privilege you will need a Substance Abuse Assessment, a Certified Copy of your Driving Record, a DL123 form from your insurance company and $100.00 to file the LDP with the clerk of courts. Once the judge signs off on the privilege you may know use it to drive around.


  1. DWI’s are very difficult to beat. In Wake County you can’t reduce a DWI to a lesser charge so you are forced to take it to trial. What you will be facing is either a level A1, 1, 2, 3, 4, or a 5, with 5 being the least amount of punishment. A1, 1, and 2 mean mandatory jail time because you were either driving while your license was revoked, had a prior DWI in the last 7 years, involved in an accident resulting in serious injury or you were transporting a minor under the age of 18. Anything less of these levels usually will mean community service, court fines and fees, probation, a substance abuse treatment of some sort, and a license suspension.
Posted in blog, Legal Basics, Traffic Tagged , , , , Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.