Bill increases penalties for DWI deaths
The North Carolina legislature passed a bill on June 28 that increases the penalty for driving while intoxicated deaths to a Class D felony and implements a graduated scale of penalties. The bill is now on Gov. Bev Perdue's desk for approval.Posted — Updated
The bill also addresses the definition of first- and second-degree murder and ups consequence for several aggravating factors, including DWI, drug-dealing and malice.
“Good people get killed. Good people get maimed. Terrible things happen when people drink and drive,” Newton said.
Most drivers who cause a death while drunk are charged with felony death by vehicle. In rare cases, North Carolina district attorneys will charge them with second-degree murder.
However, those cases can be difficult to prove because prosecutors need to show an aggravating circumstance, such as a prior drunken driving charge, and prove malice to a jury, which can be a tough sell.
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