Refusal License Restoration Hearing
If you have been arrested for a DWI in North Carolina and refused to submit to the state breath test, your license will be suspended at both the civil and administrative levels.
A judge or magistrate may revoke your license for 30 days if you refused to submit to the state breath test. This is a civil revocation.
You may be able to obtain limited driving privileges after serving 10 days of the revocation.
You may also be subject to a one-year administrative revocation from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for refusing the state breath test. You may be able to qualify for a limited driving privilege after serving six months of the revocation.
Save Your License
The only way to prevent a full one-year revocation of your license is to request a restoration hearing with the DMV. You must submit a request in writing within 10 days of receiving a copy of your suspension order. If you miss this deadline, your request will be denied.
License Hearing Process
The hearing will be before a NC DMV hearing officer. The officer who arrested you may testify regarding the events that led up to your arrest. You will be able to present evidence in your defense, which may include information that shows you did not refuse or that the test was ordered in an unlawful manner.
If you are granted a hearing and the hearing officer rules in your favor, he or she must rescind the revocation. There will be no fines or fees imposed if you win this hearing. If the hearing officer finds that the refusal was willful, he or she must order that the revocation be sustained and enter an order containing written findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Right to hearing in Superior Court
If you do not prevail at their DMV hearing, you may file a petition in superior court for a new hearing. The superior court hearing will be limited to whether or not there is sufficient evidence in the record of the DMV hearing to support the DMV hearing officer’s findings and whether or not they committed an error of law.