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Drunk Driver Charged In North Carolina Car Wreck

A drunk driving accident in Salisbury, NC ended with criminal charges for one driver and serious injuries for another. The accident happened over the weekend on Highway 70. North Carolina Highway Patrol says that a 26-year-old from Woodleaf has been charged with DWI, an open container violation, failure to wear a seat belt and failure to see before starting at a stop sign.

According to authorities, the 26-year-old pulled out from a stop sign at Parks Road and tried to cross U.S. 70 a little after 11 p.m. Saturday night. As he entered U.S. 70 he drove straight into the path of another driver’s oncoming SUV, which then crashed into the side of the 26-year-old’s pickup truck. The SUV quickly caught fire and continued burning until emergency responders put the blaze out after arriving on the scene.

Police say the driver of the SUV is currently listed in serious condition at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The 26-year-old was found with an open bottle of beer at the scene of the wreck by police investigators and had his blood drawn later to determine his BAC, which has not yet been released.

Our hearts go out to the family of the man in the SUV given the pain they are now coping with. Unfortunately, accidents like this one are not as rare as many people might hope. According to recent statistics, there were 366 alcohol-involved driving fatalities in North Carolina in 2011. Thousands of other motorists suffered serious and sometimes debilitating injuries in drunk driving accidents the same year.

Something that might surprise many people is how many of these accidents involve severely impaired drivers. Though the legal BAC limit in North Carolina is 0.08 percent, an astounding 72 percent of all drunk driving fatalities involve drivers with a BAC above 0.15 percent. This means that the overwhelming majority of fatal accidents in North Carolina are caused by drivers who have blood alcohol levels more than twice the legal limit. It’s for this reason that groups like MADD say law enforcement needs to do a better job targeting repeat drunk drivers with well-established alcohol abuse problems. Mandating installation of ignition interlock devices is one way to do this and hopefully save lives each year.

If you have been involved in a North Carolina car, motorcycle or truck accident and are not sure how to move forward, it might be helpful to check out my firm’s answers to some frequently asked questions regarding car accident claims. For instance, you may be wondering what types of damages an injured person can recover or how you can go about calculating and recovering money for lost wages. For these answers and more, read my firm’s North Carolina car accident FAQs.

Here's a Google Map showing the location of the drunk driving accident:

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