The NC General Assembly is set to debate several new DWI bills that would drastically affect how DWIs are prosecuted in North Carolina. These bills are part of a statewide crackdown on driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. If passed, the new bills would make punishments more severe for those convicted of DWI.

House Bill 31 would loosen restrictions on prosecuting habitual DWI. As the law currently stands, to convict a motorist for Habitual DWI, the State must show that the person has three prior DWI convictions in a 10 year period. House Bill 31 would give prosecutors a second method for proving the crime of Habitual DWI. Under the proposed bill, if a motorist has ever been convicted of Habitual DWI they will forever maintain that status and all subsequent DWI convictions would automatically qualify them for Habitual punishment.

House Bill 40 goes hand in hand with Bill 31, and would decrease the number of DWIs necessary to be deemed a “habitual DWI.” Prosecutors would need only two prior DWI convictions in a ten-year period in order to convict a person of habitual DWI.

House Bill 41 would amend North Carolina’s license restoration laws to prohibit anyone convicted of DWI from driving with ANY amount of alcohol in their system for a period of three years after their license is restored. Under current law, a first time DWI offender is allowed to have a BAC below .04 while operating a vehicle.

House Bill 183 would change DWI rights in the immediate aftermath of a DWI arrest or accident. Under the proposed bill, hospital workers would be permitted to analyze blood or urine tests in order to determine blood alcohol level.

If one or all of the proposed bills pass in the North Carolina General Assembly, it could spell even bigger trouble for those charged with a DWI. The bills are especially detrimental for those with a prior conviction. Receiving a DWI can be one of the worst moments of your life, but the consequences can be even worse if you go to court without an experienced attorney or attempt to represent yourself in court. If you have been charged with a DWI in Duplin County or Sampson County, contact Ludlum Law Firm for a free DWI consultation. Our lawyers specialize in North Carolina DWI laws and are the best resource in Sampson County and Duplin County for legal representation.