Navigating Limited Driving Privileges and Restricted Licenses

10/19/20232 min read

DWI Defense lawyer Goldsboro NC
DWI Defense lawyer Goldsboro NC

Even if you find yourself facing a DWI/DUI conviction, there is a glimmer of hope for maintaining some level of mobility. In many cases, individuals can qualify for a Limited Driving Privilege (LDP), allowing them to drive to work, school, or essential family obligations. Losing your license can be a significant setback, especially if your daily life depends on being behind the wheel. Here, we'll delve into the intricacies of obtaining a work license or limited driving privilege and the categories that define these restrictions.

Understanding Limited Driving Privileges:

Limited driving privileges, commonly referred to as LDPs, fall into various categories, each contingent on specific circumstances such as whether it's pre-trial, post-conviction, or refusal related. It's essential to grasp that driving under an LDP means operating a vehicle with restrictions, allowing travel only for specific purposes like work or education. The terms "Limited Driving Privilege," "LDP," "work license," or "driving privilege" are often used interchangeably.

Pre-Trial Driving Privilege:

If you've been charged with DWI and your breath test registered 0.08 or above on the EC/IR II, your license is automatically revoked for 30 days. However, after the 10th day of revocation, you may be eligible for a pre-trial limited driving privilege. The general requirements for this privilege include:

  • Having a valid or recently expired (less than a year) driver's license at the time of the stop.

  • No prior DWI convictions within the past seven years.

  • No additional DWI charges since the current charge.

  • Proof of insurance (DL 123 form).

  • Completion of a substance abuse assessment.

  • Payment of a $100 fee to the clerk of court.

It's crucial to note that a pre-trial privilege is valid until the 30th day after the DWI charge. After this period, your restricted license expires, and to reinstate your regular driver's license, you must pay a $50 restoration fee.

Post-Trial Driving Privilege:

To obtain a driving privilege after a DWI conviction, you must fulfill the same requirements as the pre-trial privilege. However, if your breath test result was 0.15 or above, you must install an interlock device in your car and face a 45-day license suspension without the possibility of privilege. For individuals convicted of a level I or II DWI, there is no eligibility for any privilege for one full year (refer to DWI sentencing).

Driving Privileges in Refusal Cases:

If you refused the breath test, the DMV will notify you of a one-year license revocation. No driving privilege is available for the first six months, and afterward, eligibility for a limited driving privilege can be applied for, subject to the DMV's approval.

General Information about Driving Privileges:

Limited driving privileges typically apply from 6 AM to 8 PM, Monday through Friday. If you need to drive beyond these hours for work or school, a letter from your employer or a school schedule specifying the necessity is required. For self-employed individuals, a letter on your letterhead is usually sufficient to support your request. Understanding the intricacies of limited driving privileges is vital for those navigating the aftermath of a DWI conviction, and seeking legal counsel can greatly assist in securing the best possible outcome.