A Charlotte man is facing his third DWI arrest in just over a year’s time span after causing a serious accident that sent five people to the hospital [Source: WCNC]. Carl Wells, 24, has been identified as the intoxicated driver and police say he was traveling inbound on South Boulevard when he T-boned a van that was making a left turn into a public storage facility. The incident occurred near the intersection of Arrowood Road.
After Wells struck the van, three children that had been traveling inside of it were ejected from the vehicle. The driver of the van was also seriously injured along with a passenger who had been riding with Wells. All five victims were taken to either Carolinas Medical Center-Main or Novant Main with life-threatening or potentially life-threatening injuries. Fox 46 reported that one of the children, a little girl, had to undergo surgery.
Wells did admit that he had been drinking prior to driving and was arrested for DWI. But, because he caused an accident that led to injuries, his charges will likely intensify and he may even have more charges filed against him.
What are the penalties for a third DWI offense in North Carolina?
In the state of North Carolina, there are five levels of misdemeanor Driving While Intoxicated. Because of the severity of Wells’ charge, he could be looking at a Level I, which is the most serious of them all or even a Felony DWI charge, however, it will all depend on the charge he is convicted of. Below we have listed the penalties for each.
Level I DWI Misdemeanor
Someone who is charged with a Level I is either a repeat offender, someone who has had their license revoked, an impaired driver, an impaired driver who is transporting young children, or impaired drivers who hurt someone in an accident [Source: North Carolina Department of Public Safety]. Some of the penalties a Level I misdemeanor carries includes:
- Punishable by a fine up to $4,000
- Minimum jail sentence of 30 days and a maximum of two years. It is important to note that a judge cannot suspend the minimum sentence.
- Possible license revocation
- Offenders must complete a substance abuse assessment and comply with any treatments that are recommended if they are eligible to have their license restored at the end of the revocation period.
Someone who is a habitual DWI offender or has had three prior DWI convictions within the past seven years may be charged with a felony DWI. Some of the penalties this charge carries include:
- A minimum active jail term of one year, which cannot be suspended.
- An offender must go through a substance abuse program while in jail or as a condition of parole.
- License revocation
- Incur a fine that is the same as what is stipulated in a Level I misdemeanor or more.
If you have been charged for causing a drunk driving accident in Charlotte, contact a DUI accident lawyer who can explain your charges and/or the penalties it carries.
Because the circumstances surrounding each DWI charge differs, so will the penalties. Now, because Wells has been charged with DWI three times already in less than seven years and caused a drunk driving accident that led to several individuals, including children, sustaining severe injuries, he is going to need a Charlotte, NC DWI accident lawyer to represent him in his case.
The fact is, DWI charges carry some serious penalties and the only way an offender stands a chance at getting their charges reduced, especially if this isn’t their first time being convicted, is with the help a Charlotte, NC drunk driving accident attorney can provide.