Drivers in North Carolina need to know their rights if they have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. An important part of this is simply knowing what penalties could come from DUI/DWI charges so that they can make sure that they get a fair sentence.
The penalties are different depending on the number of offenses on a person's record. For instance, for a first offense, the minimum jail time is just 24 hours. If there are other contributing factors, a first offender could see 12 months.
For a second offense, the person could be given a minimum jail sentence of four days. Again, if there are other factors, this could be increased to a year. For a third offense, the minimum is anywhere from 14 to 30 days, without the additional factors that could increase it to 12 months.
Even for a third offense, the maximum jail time is 24 months.
The monetary fine for a first offense is set at $200. As the offenses go up, there are many factors to consider, and fines can vary too much to provide hard and fast numbers.
Finally, drivers could see a license suspension after the arrest. For a first offense, it could range from 60 days to 12 months. For a second offense, the range is from one year to four years, and this applies to drivers who had their first offense within a relatively recent span of time -- just the last three years. For a third offense, with the last having happened in the previous five years, the suspension could be as little as a year, or it could be forever.
Source: DrivingLaws.org, "What are the penalties for a DUI/DWI in North Carolina?" Sep. 03, 2014