North Carolina drunk driving accident decline, still pose substantial threat to motorists

Mecklenburg, Wake and Guilford counties in North Carolina have reason to be proud of their three largest cities, Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro respectively. Fatal alcohol related North Carolina car accidents did not increase in 2009 from the previous year. As a matter of fact, they have continually gone down each year since 2005.

Guilford County recorded 8 fatalities (there were 30 in 2005). Wake County had 16 fatalities in 2009 (there were 21 in 2005). Lastly, Mecklenburg reported 20 fatalities (there were 29 in 2005). These are the lowest totals in the past five years as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Statewide, alcohol related fatalities in 2005 were 429 as opposed to a total of 363 in 2009.
It appears that North Carolina’s Booze It & Lose It campaign is working. This initiative was launched on November 17, 2005 to crack down on DWI (Driving While Impaired) violations. It is illegal to drive in North Carolina if you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. In addition, it’s not permissible to be driving while impaired by drugs, regardless of them being legal or not. Your blood alcohol concentration is determined by a blood or a breathalyzer test.

The cost involved with a DWI conviction is quite staggering. Legal representation can cost several thousand dollars or more. If you commit a violation, fines can be as high as $4,000. Your car insurance premium can go up as much as 400% for the next three years. Though not financial, you lose your driving privileges for a year after the first offense which, for most people, is a high price to pay and can result in job loss and other hardship.

The following are a few suggestions to avoid driving drunk:

-Always have a designated driver if you plan to drink while you are out.

-Use public transportation if that is an option.

-If you have had too much to drink, stay overnight at a friend’s. Or call someone to pick you up.

-Don’t let anyone convince you that you are OK to drive when you aren’t.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car crash, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment. Call 800-887-1965. Serving all of North and South Carolina, including Concord, Gastonia, Greensboro and Hendersonville.

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