In 2014, 1,284 people were killed in traffic accidents in North Carolina. Most of those people were occupants in a passenger car, though motor vehicle crashes also claimed the lives of 172 pedestrians, 190 motorcyclists and 19 bicyclists. Seventy percent of the fatalities resulted from crashes that did not involve an alcohol-impaired driver. While it is fairly easy to determine the appropriate criminal charge when a person drives while impaired and proximately causes the death of another, it is less obvious what the appropriate charge is when a driver’s violation of another type of traffic statute proximately causes someone else’s death.
Most impaired drivers arrive at their destinations without harming themselves or anyone else. And few such drivers are actually stopped by police. That may explain why eight percent of people nationwide who were over 16 years old reported riding in a vehicle with a driver they thought may have consumed too much alcohol to drive … Read more
Misdemeanor death by vehicle is defined in G.S. 20-141.4(a2) as (1) unintentionally causing the death of another person (2) while violating a State law or local ordinance applying to the operation or use of a vehicle or to the regulation of traffic—other than impaired driving under G.S. 20-138.1—where (3) commission of the offense is the … Read more
G.S. 20-141.4 sets forth six offenses based upon the unlawful killing or injuring of another during the commission of a motor vehicle offense. All but one of these death or injury by vehicle offenses are felonies and are predicated upon causing death or injury while driving while impaired in violation of G.S. 20-138.1 or 20-138.2. … Read more
I blogged here about the court of appeals’ opinion in State v. Davis, ___ N.C. App. ___ (2010), a case in which the defendant was convicted of several offenses and sentenced to more than 35 years imprisonment for driving while impaired and crashing his truck into another truck, killing two people and seriously injuring a … Read more