20-138.5.  Habitual impaired driving.

(a)        A person commits the offense of habitual impaired driving if he drives while impaired as defined in G.S. 20-138.1 and has been convicted of three or more offenses involving impaired driving as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(24a) within 10 years of the date of this offense.

(b)        A person convicted of violating this section shall be punished as a Class F felon and shall be sentenced to a minimum active term of not less than 12 months of imprisonment, which shall not be suspended. Sentences imposed under this subsection shall run consecutively with and shall commence at the expiration of any sentence being served.

(c)        An offense under this section is an implied consent offense subject to the provisions of G.S. 20-16.2. The provisions of G.S. 20-139.1 shall apply to an offense committed under this section.

(d)       A person convicted under this section shall have his license permanently revoked.

(e)        If a person is convicted under this section, the motor vehicle that was driven by the defendant at the time the defendant committed the offense of impaired driving becomes property subject to forfeiture in accordance with the procedure set out in G.S. 20-28.2. In applying the procedure set out in that statute, an owner or a holder of a security interest is considered an innocent party with respect to a motor vehicle subject to forfeiture under this subsection if any of the following applies:

(1)        The owner or holder of the security interest did not know and had no reason to know that the defendant had been convicted within the previous seven years of three or more offenses involving impaired driving.

(2)        The defendant drove the motor vehicle without the consent of the owner or the holder of the security interest. (1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1039, s. 7; 1993, c. 539, s. 1258; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 14, s. 32; c. 24, s. 14(c); 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 761, s. 34.1; c. 767, s. 32; 1997-379, s. 6; 2006-253, ss. 12, 13.)