A new bill being proposed in the North Carolina legislature would tighten laws on repeat DWI offenders. The bill was inspired by a case involving a North Carolina who has been convicted of numerous DWIs throughout the years but has managed to escape being classified as a habitual DWI offender. In order to be classified as a habitual offender, the defendant must have been convicted of three DWIs within a 10 year period of the most recent DWI charge. If someone has been convicted of DWI multiple times over the past but the most recent DWI charge falls out of the 10 year period, he could be sentenced as a first time offender. This is being called a loophole in current North Carolina DWI law.

The legislators fear that too many people might be falling into this loophole and not being more heavily punished if they have a history of DWI convictions. The man who inspired the legislation was originally convicted of DWI in the early 1980’s after he killed a couple and their granddaughter. He was sentenced to prison but upon release he continued to receive DWI charges. The charges were spread out enough that the State was unable to classify him as a habitual offender which would carry with it a prison sentence of 1 to 5 years.

The new bill would allow anyone who has four DWI charges within 10 years or a previous habitual conviction at any time could be convicted of habitual DWI. The bill is named House Bill 31.

If you have been charged with a DWI in North Carolina it is important to contact an attorney who understands the law. Our attorneys have experience handling DWI cases in NC and will work tirelessly to defend your case. Contact one of our attorneys directly by calling 704-499-9000 or toll free 877-374-5999. You will be glad you did. Don’t worry. We are here to help. Visit our main page here.