18-year-old's Thrill Ride Could Cost Him His Freedom - Sparrow Law Firm

A Durham teen ended his weekend with a night in jail and an early Monday court appearance. The 18-year-old faces both felony and misdemeanor charges as well as citations for multiple traffic violations. The events that led to his arrest unfolded in a matter of minutes, but he could live with the consequences for the rest of his life.

Early Sunday evening, a North Carolina State Highway Patrolman said he spotted the teen’s vehicle traveling well over the speed limit on Interstate 40. The officer went after him, clocking the car at 95 mph in a 65-mph zone. The driver apparently spotted the patrol car and exited the interstate.

He did not stop, though. Instead, he hit another car at an intersection, crossed the median and drove against traffic. At some point, his vehicle struck the state trooper’s patrol car; the trooper said, too, that the teen had driven toward a Wake County sheriff’s deputy.

Had anyone been injured in the chase, the teen would be facing much more serious charges. As it is, he will spend his summer dealing with the following:

  • Two felony charges — one for the hit-and-run and the other for fleeing the patrol car to elude arrest
  • Two misdemeanor charges — one for driving while intoxicated and the other for underage DWI
  • Five traffic tickets — one each for speeding, failure to stop, running a red light, having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle, reckless driving and littering

His arraignment was scheduled for Monday, so police kept him in jail overnight. Bail was set at $16,000. He will appear in court on the traffic tickets in July.

A conviction could stay on the defendant’s record indefinitely. A few minutes of bad judgment could affect his ability to find a job or to rent an apartment for years to come.

Source: News & Observer, “Durham man faces 10 charges after 95 mph chase on I-40 in Raleigh,” June 10, 2013