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North Carolina police on the lookout for drunk drivers, boaters


Memorial Day is behind us and the Fourth of July looms, meaning that there may be an uptick in the number of people North Carolina police accuse of drunk driving. After all, summer is a festive season, with many get-togethers and special events going on at the beach or on the water where alcohol is served. While most people in North Carolina handle their liquor responsibly, it is still important to note that police in the state will be cracking down on those they believe are drunk driving or drunk boating.

The police campaign is known as "On the Road, On the Water, Don't Drink and Drive." Reportedly, North Carolina has already seen two deaths due to drunk boating. In the summer of 2016 there were 54 deadly car accidents and 844 car accidents that caused injuries reportedly due to drunk driving.

While drunk boating was not always prosecuted the way drunk driving, in 2016 a law was passed that made drunk boating a felony when it leads to accidents that caused injuries or fatalities. In fact, a bill is currently working its way through the North Carolina legislature that would increase the penalties for drunk driving accidents and drunk boating accidents when they resulted in the death of another. This bill was approved by the North Carolina House of Representatives and is currently being assessed by a senate committee. Under the bill, if a person is killed in a drunk driving or drunk boating accident, the motorist at issue could face a jail sentence of 27 months.

It is important to note, however, that this bill is not yet law. Still it pays to have a good understanding of drunk driving and drunk boating laws in North Carolina. After all, being accused of such crimes can be a stressful and confusing situation. Fortunately, attorneys are available to help those facing drunk driving charges or drunk boating charges.

Source: North State Journal, "Crack down on drunk driving and boating gets underway," Donna King, May 25, 2017

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