RALEIGH, N.C. (May 19, 2011) – The Wildlife Resources Commission and the State Highway Patrol are teaming up for a safer North Carolina this summer, with a reminder that whether you are on the road or on the water, drinking and driving can be deadly. North Carolina sets the same limits for intoxication while operating a boat as it does for operating a motor vehicle, at .08 blood alcohol concentration. The state sees on average one-in-three alcohol related traffic deaths and recreational boating deaths every year. A new “On the Road or On the Water” campaign combines the efforts of “Booze It & Lose It” for highways and “Boat Safe, Boat Sober” for waterways. Officers will concentrate on impaired drivers – no matter what they drive – through awareness and enforcement in all North Carolina counties. Joining the campaign are the Alcohol Law Enforcement division, local police and sheriff’s departments and Forensic Tests for Alcohol branch, which is providing six mobile breath-alcohol testing units. Each mobile unit is equipped with alcohol screening devices, computers and communication work stations, as well as a magistrate office and other necessary equipment and supplies for processing impaired suspects. The ALE division will stress that the “On the Road, On the Water” message can serve as a deterrent to under-age drinking. It is illegal to sell alcohol without a permit, to sell to anyone younger than 21, to have an open container of alcohol in a car, or to sell wine, beer or liquor to anyone who is intoxicated. ALE special agents enforce these and many other laws involving the sale, purchase, transportation, manufacture, consumption, and possession of alcoholic beverages in the state. The state chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving also will help promote and support the campaign through communication and education. Drinking and boating has an additional consideration. Wind and waves, combined with heat, glare, motor noise and vibrations can create a condition known as boater fatigue, which accelerates impairment and affects coordination, judgment and reaction time that can magnify the effects of alcohol in some individuals. North Carolina allows a boat operator to be charged if appreciably impaired. For more information on boating safety, regulations and title and registration, go to http://www.ncwildlife.org/Boating_Waterways/index.htm.
Carteret County law enforcement agencies are holding their 'Pills Can Kill' collection this Saturday, March 24th. Drop off unused prescription medicine to the designated locations sited on the website below.
It is easier now more than ever to keep up with the NC sex offenders registry. Attorney General Roy Cooper announced on Monday, a free NC Sex Offender Registry application for iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch® developed by his NC Department of Justice. The app is available for download via iTunes® or at ncdoj.gov. The app helps users to locate registered sex offenders near homes, parks, schools or any location. The tool provides GPS mapping of offenders homes, physical descriptions of offenders as well as photos.
Check out this link to find out more
In some cases, a person charged with a DWI is subject to a substance abuse assessment and treatment. When any person is charged with a DWI, their license is automatically revoked for a 30 day period. When a person is charged with a DWI under G.S. 20:17.6, that person must adhere to a substance abuse assessment and complete recommended treatment before their license can be reinstated. This applies to a person whose license has been revoked upon conviction of the following offenses:
- driving while impaired pursuant to G.S. 20-138.1
- commercial driving while impaired pursuant to G.S. 20-138.2
- driving while less than 21 after consuming alcohol or drugs in violation of G.S. 20-138.3
- driving a school bus, school activity bus, or child care vehicle after consuming alcohol under G.S. 20-138.2B
- a second or subsequent conviction of driving a commercial motor vehicle after consuming alcohol under G.S. 20-138.2A
The revoked period is extended in these cases pending completion of assessment and treatment, at which point the DMV is required to receive proof of certificate of completion before restoring a persons drivers license.
Assessments must be completed by facilities authorized by the N.C. Department of Heath and Human Services. Walter B. Jones ADATC, is the facility that services Carteret County. Assessments involve a face-to-face clinical interview, administration of an approved standardized test to determine chemical dependency, review of persons driving record & review of persons blood alcohol concentration at time of offense. Following the assessment, a level of service to be completed is recommended by the facility. Levels of treatment vary from 16-hours of drug and alcohol education traffic school to inpatient treatment.
The General Assembly passed an amendment to General Statute 20-179 (c) subdivision (4), which requires DWI sentencing be a Level One punishment if a person receives a DWI/DUI while driving with a child less than eighteen years of age, a person with the mental development of a child less than eighteen years of age, or a person with a physical disability that prevents them from exiting the vehicle unaided. Subdivision (4) is held as a Grossly Aggravating Factor and a judge is to impose a Level One punishment. A defendant subject to Level One punishment may be fined up to four thousand dollars ($4,000) and shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment that includes a minimum term of not less than 30 days and a maximum term of not more than 24 months. The term of imprisonment may be suspended only if a condition of special probation is imposed to require the defendant to serve a term of imprisonment of at least 30 days. If the defendant is placed on probation, the judge shall impose a requirement that the defendant obtain a substance abuse assessment and the education or treatment required by G.S. 20-17.6 for the restoration of a drivers license and as a condition of probation. The judge may impose any other lawful condition of probation.
The grossly aggravating factors of a DWI in North Carolina present the most serious of aggravating circumstances involved in a DWI as it relates to punishment and are as follows:
- Prior DWI Conviction Within 7 Years
- DWI While License is Suspended for a Previous DWI
- Serious Injury to Another Person While DWI
- Child Under 18 in Vehicle While DWI, a person with the mental development of a child less than 18 or a person with a physical disability that prevents them from exiting the vehicle unaided
- DWI Amendment
Unborn Victims of Violence Act/ Ethen’s Law
New legislation protecting unborn children against the crimes of homicide and battery will apply to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2011.
They are as states below:
AN ACT to create criminal offenses for acts that cause the death or injury of an unborn child or are committed against a pregnant woman, and to provide that the act shall be entitled “the unborn victims of violence act/Ethen’s law.”
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known as the “Unborn Victims of Violence Act/Ethen’s Law.”
SECTION 2. Chapter 14 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new Article to read:
“Article 6A. “Unborn Victims. “
§ 14-23.1. Definition. As used in this Article only, “unborn child” means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb. “
§ 14-23.2. Murder of an unborn child; penalty.
(a) A person who unlawfully causes the death of an unborn child is guilty of the separate offense of murder of an unborn child if the person does any one of the following:
(1) Willfully and maliciously commits an act with the intent to cause the death of the unborn child.
(2) Causes the death of the unborn child in perpetration or attempted perpetration of any of the criminal offenses set forth under G.S. 14-17.
(3) Commits an act causing the death of the unborn child that is inherently dangerous to human life and is done so recklessly and wantonly that it reflects disregard of life.
(b) Penalty. – An offense under:
(1) Subdivision (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section shall be a Class A felony, and any person who commits such offense shall be punished with imprisonment in the State’s prison for life without parole.
(2) Subdivision (a)(3) of this section shall be subject to the same sentence as if the person had been convicted of second degree murder pursuant to G.S. 14-17.
§ 14-23.3. Voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child; penalty. (a) A person is guilty of the separate offense of voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child if the person unlawfully causes the death of an unborn child by an act that would be voluntary manslaughter if it resulted in the death of the mother.
§ 14-23.4. Involuntary manslaughter of an unborn child; penalty.
(b) Penalty. – Any person who commits an offense under this section shall be guilty of a Class D felony.
(a) A person is guilty of the separate offense of involuntary manslaughter of an unborn child if the person unlawfully causes
the death of an unborn child by an act that would be involuntary manslaughter if it resulted in the death of the mother.
(b) Penalty. – Any person who commits an offense under this section shall be guilty of a Class F felony.
§ 14-23.5. Assault inflicting serious bodily injury on an unborn child; penalty. (a) A person is guilty of the separate offense of assault inflicting serious bodily injury on an unborn child if the person commits a battery on the mother of the unborn child and the child is subsequently born alive and suffered serious bodily harm as a result of the battery.
(b) For purposes of this section, “serious bodily harm” is defined as bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death, or that causes serious permanent disfigurement, coma, a permanent or protracted condition that causes extreme pain, or permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ, or that results in prolonged hospitalization, or causes the birth of the unborn child prior to 37-weeks gestation, if the child weighs 2,500 grams or less at the time of birth. (c) Penalty. – Any person who commits an offense under this section shall be guilty of a Class F felony.
§ 14-23.6. Battery on an unborn child.
(a) A person is guilty of the separate offense of battery on an unborn child if the person commits a battery on a pregnant woman. This offense is a lesser-included offense of G.S. 14-23.5.
(b) Penalty. – Any person who commits an offense under this section is guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor.
§ 14-23.7. Exceptions. Nothing in this Article shall be construed to permit the prosecution under this Article of any of the following:
(1) Acts which cause the death of an unborn child if those acts were lawful, pursuant to the provisions of G.S. 14-45.1.
(2) Acts which are committed pursuant to usual and customary standards of medical practice during diagnostic testing or therapeutic treatment.
(3) Acts committed by a pregnant woman with respect to her own unborn child, including, but not limited to, acts which result in miscarriage or stillbirth by the woman. The following definitions shall apply in this section:
a. Miscarriage. – The interruption of the normal development of an unborn child, other than by a live birth, and which is not an induced abortion permitted under G.S. 14-45.1, resulting in the complete expulsion or extraction from a pregnant woman of the unborn child.
b. Stillbirth. – The death of an unborn child prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from a woman, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy and which is not an induced abortion permitted under G.S. 14-45.1.
§ 14-23.8. Knowledge not required. Except for an offense under G.S. 14-23.2(a)(1), an offense under this Article does not require proof of either of the following:
(1) The person engaging in the conduct had knowledge or should have had knowledge that the victim of the underlying offense was pregnant.
(2) The defendant intended to cause the death of, or bodily injury to, the unborn child.”
SECTION 3. G.S. 14-18.2 is repealed.
SECTION 4. This act shall not be construed to impose criminal liability on an expectant mother who is the victim of acts of domestic violence which cause injury or death to her unborn child. The term “domestic violence” is defined in Chapter 50B of the General Statutes.
SECTION 5. Prosecutions for offenses committed before the effective date of this act are not abated or affected by this act, and the statutes that would be applicable but for this act remain applicable to those prosecutions.
SECTION 6. If any provision of this act or its application is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this act that can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable.
SECTION 7. A prosecution for or conviction under this act is not a bar to conviction of or punishment for any other crime committed by the defendant as part of the same conduct.
SECTION 8. This act becomes effective December 1, 2011, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date. In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 20th day of April, 2011.