Two men from Durham, North Carolina, were killed in a head-on accident shortly before 6:00 Friday morning on North Carolina 98. The accident victims were brothers. Authorities accuse a 20-year-old man from Raleigh of crossing into oncoming traffic, leading to the fatal head-on crash.
Walmart employees in Leland, North Carolina, called police to report that a woman had entered the store—the staff thought the woman matched the description of a person who Walmart employees in Wilmington believe may had been shoplifting. Workers at the two stores had been communicating about that issue. However, the woman is now facing a slate of criminal charges, including driving while impaired.
People may not always understand how broadly North Carolina’s driving while impaired laws may extend. Each state has its own definitions associated with DWI laws. For instance, some states address DWI as involving operating or being in control of a motor vehicle. Significantly, the word “motor” is not necessarily involved in DWI cases in North Carolina.
The New Year is only a number of days away, and people across the nation are coming up with ways to make the next year better than the last. For the North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Commission, the goal for 2014 is to reduce the instances of underage drinking, a plan that officials hope will continue for a few years to come.
Many criminal cases involve some kind of alleged “tip” to law enforcement. Tips can come in many forms. A person who identifies him or herself is one scenario. But, police may, at times, rely upon an anonymous tip in the course of an investigation. The rules on how courts may analyze the issues that can arise when a tip is involved may be complex, and the totality of the circumstances (meaning all of the relevant facts in the specific situation) is important in the analysis.
In many stories about driving while impaired arrests the media may focus on the alcohol level of the suspected drunk driver. Generally, North Carolina law allows prosecutors to pursue DWI charges based upon an alcohol reading of 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration after a traffic stop (lower BAC readings in specified circumstances may also support a "per se" criminal offense based upon the alcohol reading).
One of the most fundamental elements of the criminal justice system is the right for a person to have a fair and speedy trial after they are charged with a crime. If a person doesn't have a speedy trial, their case might be weakened or it could just require them to wait and put their life on hold in some manners before they are able to move forward after a verdict is made.
With the holiday season in full swing, many people will be attending parties throughout the rest of the month and even into January to catch up with friends and celebrate the season. These parties often include fancy liqueurs, champagne and special bottles of wine or beer. It can often be tempting to just have one drink and still drive home.
In January we discussed the DWI arrest of a New Hanover County Commissioner. The man was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in December last year. The case has seen delays, and the commissioner is scheduled to appear in court on the DWI charges next week. In the meantime, authorities claim that the man was found slumped over the wheel of his car early Friday on a Wilmington, North Carolina, street.
Many people in North Carolina may be aware that the United States Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the natural dissipation of alcohol in a person’s blood stream alone may not justify a warrantless blood test in a routine driving while impaired investigation. But, that ruling was not absolute. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a split decision handed down in 1966 that a warrantless blood draw in a DWI car accident case was justified.