Grace, Tisdale & Clifton P.A. Exceptional Counsel & Resolute Advocacy

Winston Salem DWI Lawyer

Effective Representation for Clients Charged with DWI

An individual driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both may be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). North Carolina is among the toughest states for DWI penalties and offenders may be charged with any of five levels of misdemeanor, depending on the seriousness of the situation and whether this is a first offense.

The Winston-Salem DWI attorneys at Grace, Tisdale & Clifton can protect your legal rights and work to preserve your driving privileges, freedom, and reputation.

If you have been charged with drunk driving, call a Winston-Salem, NC DWI attorney at (336) 515-6552 to schedule your initial consultation.

What is Considered a DWI in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the law prohibits driving or being in control of a vehicle when under the influence of any impairing substance. Drivers with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher or any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance may be charged with DWI. This can have serious consequences, so it is important to hire an attorney with knowledge of DWI law.

What is The Penalty for DWI in North Carolina?

First Offense:

  • Up to 120 days in jail
  • Fines up to $200
  • License Revocation
  • Possible Probation

Second Offense:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Fines up to $2,000
  • License Revocation
  • Ignition Interlock Device

Third Offense:

  • Up to two year in jail
  • Fines up to $4,000
  • License Revocation
  • Ignition Interlock Device

A DWI conviction can have a serious impact on your life and career. Your insurance rates may increase significantly, you could be denied insurance coverage, lose employment, be denied a job opportunity, or lose security clearance. Make sure you have a capable attorney who is dedicated to protecting your interests.

Will I Lose My Driving Privileges If Convicted of DUI?

North Carolina residents who are facing DUI charges likely have a lot of questions about how it will affect them if the court ultimately convicts them. The truth is, a DUI charge can affect you both personally and professionally. For example, you may lose your driving privileges temporarily or permanently.

How can I find out how long a suspension or revocation will last? Can I fight a suspension or revocation?

Suspension and Revocation Reasons and Timelines

According to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, there are various reasons as to why the state may suspend or revoke your license. For DUI offenses, though, state laws are as follows:

  • First-time offense: If convicted on a first-time offense, license suspension or revocation may last one year.
  • Second-time offense: If convicted a second time, your license suspension or revocation can last four years.
  • Third or subsequent offenses: If you have three or more DUI convictions on your record, a judge may take away your driving privileges permanently.
  • Refusing chemical testing: If you refuse a breath, blood or urine test, there is a mandatory license suspension period of one year.
  • Ignition interlock violation: If convicted on an ignition interlock violation, license suspension may last for one year.

Getting your license restored is a possibility, though, if you satisfy all the necessary requirements.

Field Sobriety Tests

The Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) is made of up 3 individual tests:

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test
  • Walk-and-turn test
  • One-leg stand test

During the tests, the officer is looking for common sighns the person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol such as loss of balance, slurred speech and not following the instructions

Fighting Suspension or Revocation

Fighting to have your license restored early is not easy. In some cases, mandatory suspension or revocation periods make it impossible. In other cases, there are time lines in place for which one can request a hearing to have one's case reviewed. For example, following a third or subsequent DUI conviction that results in a permanent loss of driving privileges, one can actually ask to have his or her license restored three years from the date of conviction.

If the judge dismisses your DUI charge but you find that the situation still affects your driving privileges, your legal counsel can help you take action to get them restored as soon as possible.

A Strong, Effective Defense for Your DWI Case

A DWI conviction results in a permanent criminal record, so the consequences can follow you long after you have served your sentence. It may be possible to have the record expunged at some point in the future, but this is not always possible.

Whenever possible, it is better to avoid a conviction in the first place. Our Winston-Salem DWI lawyers advise our clients through the process and work to minimize the impact on their lives.

Protect your freedom and driving privileges. Contact Grace, Tisdale & Clifton P.A. today at (336) 515-6552 for help from our DWI attorneys in Winston-Salem, NC.

Meet Our Legal Team

  • Experience on Both Sides

    The majority of our lawyers are former prosecutors and know how the system works.

  • Focus on Client Experience

    Our clients are our top priority. Each team member treats every client with respect and every case with discretion.

  • Thousands of Cases Settled

    Our legal team has experience handling all manner of criminal cases and have a comprehensive list of satisfied clients.

  • Locally Based Firm

    Every one of our attorneys is from the local town and graduated Wake Forest Law School.


  • Super Lawyer
  • Legal Elite
  • Board Certified
  • Best Lawyer
  • College of DUI Defense
  • AV