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What Should I Do if I’m Under 21 and Get Charged With a DWI in NC?

The North Carolina Laws about Underage DWI’s

With college back in session, it can be easy for students to get wrapped up in football tailgates, parties and more. For those students under 21 years of age, getting caught driving in North Carolina with any amount of alcohol or illegal substances present in the blood can result in serious consequences including license suspension and even imprisonment.

What Embodies an underage DWI in North Carolina?

Driving while intoxicated, or DWI, means in many cases that the driver has a BAC of .08% or higher or the presence of illegal substances is detected in the blood. However, if you’re under 21, North Carolina has a zero tolerance law. What does that mean for you? If a driver gets pulled over and has ANY alcohol or illegal substances in their system, it can result in serious repercussions.

What are the Possible Consequences of an underage DWI According to NC Law?

If you’re under 21 and are charged with a DWI, the possible consequences include:

  • Lengthy driver’s license revocation
  • Misdemeanor punishment
  • Community service hours
  • Potential jail time
  • Probation
  • Expensive fees and fines
  • Auto insurance increases
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • And more

Where Can You Get Help? 

Let us handle your case. If you’re under 21 years of age and have been charged with a DWI or Driving after consuming while less than 21, don’t waste another minute. The attorneys at Manning Law possess a wealth of knowledge about this subject and can give you proper legal representation to receive the best possible outcome for your case, and most importantly, your future.

Get Started.

Commonly Asked Questions about Underage DWI’s in NC

Q: How will my insurance rates be affected by an underage DWI in NC?
A: According the the North Carolina Department of Insurance, a person who is convicted of an underage DWI could have their insurance rates raised by about 80% and be charged with 4 Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SCIP) points.

Q: Will the punishments for a DWI be different if I’m over 18 in NC?
A: North Carolina is a “Zero Tolerance” state which means that it’s illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to operate a car after drinking any amount of alcohol. If you’re 18, 19 or 20 years old at the time of charge and you have no prior convictions, you may be able to obtain a limited driving privilege. There is a $100 fee.

Q: Do you have to report DWI charges when applying to schools or jobs?
A: When applying to college, an application may ask for information about arrests or criminal history. It’s in your best interest to be honest with an application, for school or a job, because dishonesty may end up in denial or rejection from college or a job position.

Disclaimer: This area of the law is quite complicated and this blog does not encompass every scenario involving these types of charges.

Do you have more questions that we didn’t answer here? Contact Manning Law for more information.

Taylor Manning
The content on this page was reviewed by Manning Law Firm, PLLC partner Taylor Manning. You can learn more about Taylor's experience and expertise on his bio page.