Revise DWI/DUI Laws

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In 2014, nearly 10,000 people were killed in the United States, with alcohol impairment being a factor (CDC). Early Monday morning, two teenagers lost their lives because of a habitual drunk driver. Many people, from strangers to family members feel the pain of their loss and some are angered. Broderick Jones, age 38, had hit Dana Wilson and Ryan Menke head on. He was speeding, going 85 miles an hour in a 70 mph zone, suspected to be driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.

Broderick Jones has two driving while impaired (DWI) charges, one that was dismissed. He also has a failure to put on seat belt charge, four possession charges (marijuana and cocaine), and a probation violation charge. Jones has clearly demonstrated that he does not have regard for others life or even his own.

I am writing this petition because, in North Carolina, you have three times to be charged with a DWI or a DUI before you are considered a habitual driving while impaired offender. If DWI/DUI laws are revised and/or changed, there is a chance that the death by drunk driver’s rate will decrease significantly.

In North Carolina, people who are convicted of driving while impaired or driving under the influence are automatically required to take an alcohol/substance abuse assessment and awareness program, along with having their license revoked and having to pay fines. Ignition Interlock devices (a breathalyzer that is placed in one’s vehicle) are optional for first time offenders, but are required for second and third time offenders. Charges and fines are based on offense levels (1-5), Levels 1 and 2 being the most severe and pertains to repeating offenders.

For the second offense, your license can be revoked for at least one year, unless your first offense was less than three years ago, then your license is suspended for four years. Jail time varies from seven days to one year, but the offender has the option of doing community service instead of jail time. The level of the second offense depends on the offenders driving record, blood alcohol level and whether or not there was a child in the car.

For third time offenders, they are considered a “habitual driving while impaired offender.” Offenders can be charged with a DWI or DUI with a blood alcohol level lower than the legal limit (0.08%). Offenders may be fined up to $4,000 and at least 30 days minimum in jail IF their second and third offense occurred seven years apart and IF there are not any aggravating factors. If the third offense happened between seven years, it is considered a felony and a one-year jail time sentence is required with no suspension by a judge. 

Just last year, Jones was issued his second citation for a DWI.

            I believe that if DWI and DUI laws were revised, reformed, and/or changed, DWI/DUI offenses would decrease and the death rate by drunk drivers would decline. After the second offense, offenders should be charged with a felony and any other charges if someone was hurt or killed. Their licenses should also be revoked for longer than one to four years, no matter how long ago their first offense was.

            While first offenses can be deemed an “accident” – there is NO excuse for getting behind the wheel impaired, everyone does deserve a second chance but should face harsh consequences so that a second offense is less likely.

            My question is: why would you give someone their license back after a second offense, especially if someone was hurt or killed (same for the first offense)? Why would you give that person a second or third chance to ruin their lives, ruin someone else’s life, or even injure or kill another person?

A LICENSE IS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT!

This petition is to gain awareness of the North Carolina government to get them to consider revising, reforming, changing or adding DWI and DUI laws.

 If you could please help me bring justice to Dana and Ryan's deaths, along with others and hopefully prevent future tragedies like this.

 No one should have to suffer from someone else’s ignorance.

 

Sources: 

http://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/north-carolina-first-offense-dui.htm
http://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/north-carolina-second-offense-dui-dwi.htm
http://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/third-offense-dui-dwi-north-carolina.htm
http://bustednewspaper.com/nc-court-records--jones--broderick--lamont



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