Man orders a taxi from his cell phone

How to Get Around in North Carolina Without a Driver’s License

There are many DWI penalties in North Carolina, from fines and fees to jail time and community service. While all of them are inconvenient, to say the least, many people finding transportation after license suspension or license revocation is the most difficult DWI punishment to endure.

North Carolina drivers who commit DWIs may have their driving privileges taken away, making things like getting groceries, transporting your children, or taking yourself to work or school much more difficult. While license revocation in North Carolina does leave you with fewer ways to get around, there are alternative transportation options for drivers with suspended licenses to make use of.

1. Walk

Walking is always a cost-efficient way to get around, assuming you’re physically able to. If you live in a major city, you probably have things like grocery stores or banks within a 15-minute walk of you. Plus, it’s a great way to get some extra exercise.

2. Bike

Biking is a truly efficient way to get around both large metropolises and rural areas. If you don’t own a bike, you can purchase one online or at a thrift store for a reasonable price. Some places also have bike shares with multiple locations throughout the city that allow you to rent a bike for a very small fee and return it to any location.

3. Try roller skating, scooting, or skating

These may seem like a rather juvenile way to get around, but they are pretty cost-effective. They’re also a lot faster than walking, which certainly makes them worth a try!

4. Try ridesharing

Now that companies like Lyft and Uber are commonplace, it’s pretty easy to grab a ride going just about anywhere. All you have to do is download the app, fill in your payment information, and tell them where you want to go. Within minutes a car will arrive to pick you up and take you to your destination. Short rides typically cost less than $10, while longer rides can vary depending on the distance. Whether this is a financially feasible option for you will depend on where you’re going and how often you need to go there.

5. Carpool

Asking a friend or family member for a ride is always a good bet. They may not be able to take you everywhere all the time, so it isn’t always the most reliable option. But if you work out your schedule with them, they may be perfectly willing to drive you around for either a minimal cost or no cost at all.

6. Take public transportation

There are multiple bus lines in cities all over North Carolina. All you need to do is learn your local bus schedule and plan your time wisely. Additionally, cities like Charlotte, NC have rail lines to make getting around even easier.

7. Take a taxi

Before there were rideshares and public transport, people who couldn’t drive got around in good, old fashioned cabs. Taxi services are still going strong in most cities. They’re also one of the best options for people with disabilities, as wheelchair accessible taxis are becoming more commonplace.

8. Check with community groups

Occasionally community organizations or churches will offer some kind of program to help those in need of transportation. While you may need to check if you’re eligible before counting on this, it’s definitely worth looking into. 

9. Apply for limited driving privileges.

You may be able to drive again after a DWI if you meet the eligibility requirements for limited driving privileges in North Carolina. Though you will still be restricted as to where you can drive and when, this is a much better option than not being able to drive at all.

Public Transportation TipsPeople on public transportation

If you do decide to make use of public transportation options in North Carolina, here are a few tips to make your journey easier:

  • Leave plenty of extra time. Buses and trains can run late or early, so make sure you plan accordingly to ensure you get to your destination at the right time.
  • Have your route memorized and make sure you have several backup routes and times memorized as well.
  • Get a pass. Monthly or yearly transportation passes work out to be much cheaper than buying daily fares.
  • If you don’t have a pass, make sure you have exact change. There’s nothing worse than getting on the bus and realizing you can’t pay the fare because you only have larger bills.
  • Don’t put your feet on the seat. Public transportation is for everyone, which means it’s everyone’s responsibility to take care of it and be respectful.
  • Don’t leave your bags unattended, as they could get stolen or picked up accidentally
  • Stay alert. Don’t fall asleep and, if you read or listen to music, keep track of when your next stop is.
  • Sanitize your hands. Public transportation isn’t traditionally the cleanest place to be, so it’s a good idea to wash your hands after your ride.

Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License

Whether your license has been suspended or revoked, you could face severe penalties if you decide to drive anyway and get pulled over. Punishments depend on why you were pulled over and your previous record but can include criminal charges, fines, jail time, alcohol monitoring, and a longer suspension period. If you or a loved one have been charged with a DWI or need help applying for limited driving privileges, the North Carolina DWI Lawyers at Mulligan Attorneys, can help. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation and find out whether you have a case – 910-763-1100.