Concord Trial Attorneys

Can You Lose Your Car Due To Drunk Driving In North Carolina?

Drunk driving can bring a host of serious legal problems for North Carolina drivers. If you are facing criminal charges related to driving while intoxicated, you know that you could be dealing with various penalties and consequences that may impact many areas of your life. However, you may not be aware of the fact that in some circumstances, drunk driving could lead to forfeiture of your personal vehicle. 

The potential confiscation of your vehicle is a threat to your personal freedoms and your ability to drive to work, school and other important places. You may find it beneficial to know exactly what you are up against with DWI charges, the various potential consequences and how you can fight back.

The authority to take your vehicle

As far-fetched as it may seem, per the Governor’s DWI Initiative, North Carolina law enforcement has the right to confiscate a driver’s vehicle at the time of a drunk driving traffic stop. However, they only have the authority to do this in very specific circumstances. Here is what you may need to know about the seizure and forfeiture of your vehicle:

  • Law enforcement can seize a car if a person is driving on a revoked license when pulled over and charged with DWI again.
  • If seizing a vehicle, law enforcement can do so at the time of the traffic stop; no court date is necessary to do this.
  • If convicted of DWI while on a revoked license, a driver could forfeit his or her ownership of the vehicle.
  • It is possible for a driver to get his or her car back, but only if not convicted and clearly proven innocent of the DWI charges.

The purpose of this initiative is to reduce the likelihood of repeat drunk driving offenses. However, it is possible that while carrying out the traffic stop, sobriety tests or forfeiture of the vehicle, you experienced a violation of your rights.

Protecting both your rights and interests

If you are facing charges for drunk driving, you have no time to lose in seeking the full protection of your interests. With a strong defense, you may be able to confront the charges against you and seek a beneficial outcome to your case.

If you lost your vehicle after a traffic stop, you still have the right to fight the current charges against you and seek to protect your right to drive. You may feel overwhelmed by your current circumstances, but it is beneficial to begin by discovering the defense options available to you.