TO INCREASE THE PUNISHMENT FOR DWI OFFENDERS WITH THREE OR MORE GROSSLY AGGRAVATING FACTORS, TO AUTHORIZE THE COURT TO REQUIRE CONTINUOUS ALCOHOL MONITORING FOR CERTAIN OFFENDERS, AND TO INCREASE THE COURT COSTS FOR DWI OFFENDERS.
Enacts new subsection (g) to GS 20-179 to create the Aggravated Level One punishment under the Motor Vehicle Act. Provides that a defendant subject to Aggravated Level One punishment may be fined up to $10,000 and will be sentenced to imprisonment, including a term of not less than 120 days and not more than 36 months. Makes a defendant sentenced under Aggravated Level One punishment ineligible for parole. Allows suspension of the imprisonment term only if a special probation condition is imposed, requiring the defendant to serve a term of imprisonment of at least 120 days. Prohibits crediting the time a defendant spent at an inpatient treatment facility toward the defendant’s Aggravated Level One sentence.
Amends GS 20-179 (pertaining to sentencing hearings for impaired driving convictions; determination of grossly aggravating, aggravating, and mitigating factors; and punishments) to require a judge, in a sentencing hearing, to impose the Aggravated Level One punishment under proposed GS 20-179(g) if the judge determines that three or more grossly aggravating factors apply. Amends GS 20-179(h1) to allow a judge to impose, as a condition of probation for defendants subject to Aggravated Level One, Level One, or Level Two punishments, that the defendant abstain from alcohol consumption for at least 30 days through the term of probation (was, to a maximum of 60 days). Removes provision limiting the total cost to the defendant for the continuous alcohol monitoring system to $1,000. Removes provision allowing the court to waive application of the continuous alcohol monitoring system when the court determines that the defendant should not pay for the system, and the responsible local government does not pay. Makes other conforming changes.
Amends GS 20-19(e) (concerning circumstances of license revocation) to add the following circumstance to those resulting in permanent license revocation: when a person’s license is revoked under GS 20-17(a)(2) (concerning impaired driving offenses) and the person was sentenced under the Aggravated Level One punishment (proposed GS 20-179(g)) for the offense resulting in the license revocation.
Amends GS 20-17.8 to restrict a person sentenced under the Aggravated Level One punishment to operating vehicles equipped with functioning ignition interlock systems, and to require that the person not drive with an alcohol concentration greater than 0.0. Makes technical and conforming changes.
Amends GS 7A-304(a) (regarding costs in criminal actions) to impose a cost of $100 on a defendant convicted under GS 20-138.1 or GS 20-138.2 (for impaired driving), or a second or subsequent conviction under GS 20-138.2A or GS 20-138.2B (operating a commercial vehicle, school bus, or child care vehicle after consuming alcohol), in every criminal case in the superior or district court, as indicated.
Effective December 1, 2011, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.
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