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Former John Edwards aide accused of child abuse and DWI

Police accuse a former aide to John Edwards of driving while impaired and child abuse after a traffic stop on Saturday in Raleigh, North Carolina. The child abuse accusations essentially are based upon the alleged facts surrounding the DWI offense. Authorities say that the Chapel Hill resident committed the drunk driving offense while his 13-year-old child was riding as a passenger in the vehicle.

Authorities say that the man admitted to having consumed four beers during a Luke Bryan concert at the Walnut Creek Amphitheater. Officials claim that after the concert Andrew Young got involved in an alleged road rage incident. Police say that Young punched another vehicle in that incident.

Law enforcement apparently conducted a traffic stop and say that the Chapel Hill man showed signs of impairment. Police say that Young was pulled over at around 11:45 on Saturday night and released from jail on Monday after posting a $2,000 secured bond.

While authorities are seeking child abuse charges against the man, the DWI laws in North Carolina directly address allegations of a person driving while impaired with a child under the age of 18 in the vehicle. The DWI sentencing statute lists driving with a minor in the car as a grossly aggravating factor (notably, an adult with the mental development of a minor or a physically disabled person under certain circumstances are also addressed as grossly aggravating factors in the sentencing statute).

When it comes to DWI with a minor in the car, a finding of the specific grossly aggravating factor standing alone can support a level one DWI sentence, which includes a minimum of 30 days.

Source: Star Tribune, “Ex-aide who claimed paternity of baby John Edwards fathered charged with DWI, child abuse,” Michael Biesecker-Associated Press, June 9, 2014; N.C.G.S. § 20-179

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