A 21-year-old woman died in a single-car accident last week. The 29-year-old woman who was driving was injured, but she survived. Now she faces multiple criminal charges and a lifetime of knowing she was responsible for her friend’s death.
According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the crash happened in the early hours of Jan. 30 in a northeastern Raleigh neighborhood. The driver apparently lost control of the vehicle, ran off the road and slammed into a tree. The SUV ended up in a ditch. Officers said both alcohol and speed were likely factors in the crash. The victim died at the scene.
The driver is charged with driving while intoxicated, felony death by motor vehicle, driving without a license or registration and failure to maintain lane control. The night before the accident, the driver was charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, according to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office.
News reports did not include details about the driver’s revoked license. North Carolina authorities can revoke a driver’s license for a number of reasons, including a number of different traffic violations and, of course, a DWI conviction. For the driver in this case, an existing DWI conviction could complicate her defense; worse for her, and for her friend’s family, would be if she had two convictions in the past seven years.
Under Laura’s Law, steeper sentences apply if a driver whose license has been revoked because of a DWI conviction is convicted of his or her third DWI in the past seven years. A three-year prison sentence followed by probation with an ankle monitor is just one possible scenario. And, a conviction for the driver in this accident could mean a permanent license revocation.
The charges are serious, and jail time is a real possibility. There are steps she can take to get her life back on track, including talking to an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Source: WBTW.com, “NC college student dies in crash, friend charged with DWI,” Feb. 1, 2013
Our firm helps people in the Raleigh area who have been charged with DWI and other serious crimes. If you’re interested in learning more about our practice, please visit the Drunk Driving Defense in North Carolina page of our website.