DWI charges upgraded in Fayetteville wreck
Prosecutors filed new charges Friday against a 17-year-old Fayetteville woman related to allegations that she was driving under the influence in a wreck that claimed two lives. Police claim seven people were riding in a Nissan Pathfinder when it was in a roll-over accident early Saturday. Originally the woman accused of driving the vehicle was charged with DWI, careless and reckless driving, speeding and driving without a valid license.
Friday, police say four additional counts were filed. The woman now faces two counts each of felony death by motor vehicle and felony assault by motor vehicle. The new charges significantly up the ante against the accused.
The Fayetteville teen’s mother says she is not sure where the group of people was headed Saturday evening. Law enforcement says the group was heading back to a birthday party when the Nissan left the roadway and overturned in Fayetteville. It remains unclear what alcohol related evidence law enforcement has in the matter.
A 16-year-old Spring Lake man reportedly died at the scene of the crash. A 17-year-old Hope Mills woman passed away Sunday at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
The accused teenager reportedly was released into the custody of her mother Friday afternoon after bond of ,500 was posted.
Generally, North Carolina law has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to underage driving under the influence charges. Any measurable alcohol in the system of a person under 21 is sufficient for law enforcement to seek underage DUI charges in the state.
Any underage DUI charge, like any North Carolina DWI offense is a serious matter. When charges are upgraded to felony level offenses, the stakes become much higher. Pitt County and Greenville area residents who are accused of DWI can speak with an experienced DWI defense attorney to help ensure that their constitutional rights are protected.
Source: WRAL, “Driver charged in Fayetteville wreck that killed two,” Matthew Burns Au. 12, 2011