Out-of-state trucker accused of CDL DWI after fatal wreck in North Carolina
North Carolina authorities accuse a trucker of driving while impaired after a fatal accident occurred that involved three tractor-trailers on U.S. 74 October 2 near Columbus, North Carolina. Most North Carolina residents may be aware that the legal limit to drive is generally set at 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration. But in a few specified circumstances, the legal limit may be lower than 0.08 percent BAC.
In the recent truck accident, it is not clear what level of alcohol authorities believe that the truck driver accused of starting a chain reaction accident may have had. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol claims that the out-of-state driver smelled of alcohol, and toxicology tests of a blood sample remain pending. Troopers claim that two open containers from 24-ounce beers were found in the cab of the tractor-trailer the trucker was driving when he crashed.
Authorities say the trucker lost control of his rig at the North Carolina Highway 9 exit along U.S. 74. Troopers say that his rig rolled onto its side. A second tractor-trailer then slammed into the wrecked rig-followed by a third rig slamming into the pile.
The driver of the truck that slammed into the initial wrecked rig suffered fatal injuries. The out-of-state commercial truck driver that initially rolled his rig is accused of DWI of a commercial vehicle, drinking while driving a commercial vehicle, open container and reckless driving-authorities say that more charges are pending.
This blog has discussed the special rules for underage drivers that allow the state to seek underage DUI charges based upon any measurable evidence of alcohol. Underage drinking and driving charges do not preclude normal DWI charges, however, if there is evidence showing a 0.08 percent BAC to support DWI charges.
Similarly, in the case of commercial drivers, there is also a lower limit for drunk driving charges. Authorities may prosecute a commercial driver for DWI under North Carolina law based upon a 0.04 percent BAC reading.
Source: Times-News, “Tractor-trailer driver charged with DWI in wreck that killed 1,” Mark Schulman, Oct. 12, 2012