For many hardworking North Carolinians, it's nice to go out with friends and just unwind towards the end of the work week. Sometimes that downtime involves alcohol. Unfortunately, too much alcohol can lead to an accident that alters the lives of everyone involved.
Last month, a middle-aged woman was hit by a motor vehicle while she was crossing a street in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was transported to Carolinas Medical Center where she later died. Police have charged the driver of the car with two offenses: driving while intoxicated (DWI) and involuntary manslaughter.
The facts surrounding the incident are unclear. According to initial reports, the pedestrian was struck by a 29-year-old driver after she stepped off the curb to cross the street. The driver was traveling in the right line at the time of impact.
While she initially continued driving, she soon returned to the scene of the accident where sobriety tests were performed by officers. Tests indicate the woman had been drinking. She tested higher than the legal limit. The driver does not have any other alcohol or drug related offenses on her record.
Undoubtedly a traffic accident death is a tragedy. At the same time, in a country of laws, painting the accused party as guilty without a fair hearing and a fair trial is also a type of tragedy. Until all the facts are revealed, one cannot condemn the accused driver. At present she is free, having been released from prison after bail of over fifty thousand dollars was posted.
DWI and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) are serious charges; if they result in convictions, then long prison sentences can follow. Prison is a life-altering experience and is an unfair punishment if the car accident you were involved in was someone else's fault or if you had a drink or two but were not intoxicated or impaired. Those facing charges of this nature may find it helpful to consult with a North Carolina legal professional.
Source: Charlotte Observer, "Pedestrian dead; driver charged with DWI," Steve Lyttle, July 15, 2011