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North Carolina Ignition Interlock FAQs

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When is an Ignition Interlock required for me to drive?images

  • You were convicted of DWI and had an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more; OR
  • You have previously been convicted of DWI within 7 years from the date of the current offense; OR
  • You were convicted of this DWI and sentenced at Level 1.

How much alcohol can I consume and drive with the Ignition Interlock?

  • You blew a 0.15 or more:
    • During period of license revocation: If you have the Ignition Interlock installed during your period of revocation (meaning, you are driving with a Limited Driving Privilege), you may not have anything to drink and then drive. You alcohol concentration must be a 0.00.    (**Please note: There is a 45-day grace period after conviction of the DWI that you may not drive at all. After this time period, you may then be eligible to install the Ignition Interlock.)
    • License revocation period is over: If your period of license revocation is over, but you have not completed the Ignition Interlock requirement, you license may be restored upon installation of the Ignition Interlock.  During this time period, you may not drive with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater during (see section below for information on how long the Ignition Interlock must be installed).
  • You have been convicted of a prior DWI within 7 years from the date of the current offense; OR You were convicted and sentenced at Level 1 for this offense; OR You were convicted of Habitual Impaired Driving for this offense (The provision regarding Habitual Impaired Driving expires December 1, 2016.  These defendants will no longer be eligible to drive, even with an Ignition Interlock)
    • You may not drive with an alcohol concentration greater than 0.00
  • You blew a 0.15 or more AND you were also convicted (based on the same offense) of Driving while impaired in a commercial vehicle; OR Driving while less than 21 years old after consuming alcohol or drugs; OR Felony or misdemeanor death by vehicle or felony serious injury by vehicle; OR Manslaughter or negligent homicide.
    • You may not drive with an alcohol concentration greater than 0.00

How long will I be required to have the Ignition Interlock in my car?

The length of time depends upon the period of license revocation:

  • License Revocation Period was ONE YEAR – You must have the Ignition Interlock installed for one year.
  • License Revocation Period was FOUR YEARS – You must have the Ignition Interlock installed for three years.
  • License Revocation Period was PERMANENT (*permanent means you may not have your license restored without a hearing before a DMV Officer) – You must have the Ignition Interlock installed for seven years.

Wilmington’s Neighboring County:

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Among Highest in State for DWI Arrests

If you’re returning from dinner in Southport or time out hunting in Brunswick County, pay careful attention to who’s driving you back to Wilmington. During the NCDOT’s most recent crackdown, Brunswick County had the 5th most DWI arrests.

Last year, more than 3,160 people were arrested for drunk driving during the four-week Holiday “Booze It and Lose It” campaign.