North Carolina

GHSA maintains data on state laws surrounding a number of highway safety issues. Below is information regarding laws in the state of North Carolina. For more information, consult the State Highway Safety Office.

  • Alcohol Impaired Driving


    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension Vehicle and License Plate Sanctions
    .15 30 days After 10 days Vehicle confiscation

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for high BAC (.15 or higher) and repeat convictions


    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws Alcohol Exclusion Laws Limiting Treatment
    Yes Yes No


  • Autonomous Vehicles

    Authorizes full deployment of AVs without a human operator.

  • Bicyclists and Pedestrians

    Bicycle helmets required for all riders under 16.

  • Child Passenger Safety

    Child Restraint Required

    7 yrs or under and under 80 lbs

    Adult Safety Belt Permissible

    8-15 yrs or 40-80 lbs in seats without shoulder belts

    Maximum Fine for 1st Offense

    $25 + $188 court costs + points

  • Distracted Driving

    Hand-Held Ban?


    All Cell Phone Ban?

    School Bus Drivers

    Yes. Primary law.

    Novice Drivers

    Drivers under 18. Primary law.

    Text Messaging Ban?

    All drivers. Primary law.

  • Drug Impaired Driving

    DUID Zero Tolerance or Per se Laws for Some Drugs

    • Zero tolerance for some drugs

    Marijuana-Specific Laws

    • Possession and Use: Decriminalized
    • Impaired Driving: None
  • Mature Drivers

    Length of Regular Renewal Cycle

    8 years

    Provisions for Mature Drivers

    66 and over: renewal every 5 years

    60 and over: parallel parking not required on road test


  • Motorcyclists

    Universal helmet law enacted 1968.

  • Seat Belts

    Type of Law

    Primary; Secondary for rear seat occupants

    Who Is Covered?

    Riders 16 and over

    In What Seat?


    Maximum Fine for 1st Offense

    $25.50 + $135.50 in court costs ($10 + no court costs for rear seats)

  • Sobriety Checkpoints

    Checkpoints are conducted weekly. Their legality is authorized by statute.

  • Speed and Red Light Cameras

    Speed Cameras

    No state law or programs

    Red Light Cameras

    Violation/State Law


    Permitted Locations/Criteria

    Specified in law

    Citation Issued To/Liability


    Image Taken

    Photo, video and electronic image

    Penalties (Traditional Penalties)

    $100 maximum civil penalty; no points ($100 maximum; 3 points)

  • Speeding and Aggressive Driving

    Rural Interstates

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    70 70

    Urban Interstates

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    70 70

    Other Limited Access Roads

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    70 70

    Aggressive Driver Actions Defined by Statute

    Speeding and driving carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others while committing at least two of the following violations: running a red light or stop sign, illegal passing, failing to yield right of way, following too closely.

  • Teen and Novice Drivers

    Full Privilege Minimum Age

    16 years, 6 months

    Learner Stage

    Minimum Age (Years/Months)

    Minimum Duration (Months)

    Required Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours)

    15 12

    60 (10) during Learner Stage

    2 (6) during Intermediate Stage

    Intermediate Stage

    Minimum Age (Years/Months)

    Nighttime Driving Restriction

    Passenger Restriction (except family, unless noted)

    16 9 p.m. - 5 a.m. No more than 1 under 21; if passenger under 21 is family, no other non-family passengers under 21
  • Work Zones

    Violations Affected


    Enhanced Penalties

    Additional $250 plus court costs

    Workers Must Be Present?


    Signs Must Be Present?