The North Carolina House passed a bill known as “Laura’s Law” Thursday on a 114-1 vote. The measure now heads to Governor Bev Purdue’s office. The measure creates a new level of North Carolina DWI offenses, one that is related to repeat offenders and DWI offenses with multiple aggravating factors. The measure includes provisions for longer sentences, higher fines and court costs for people convicted of repeat DWI offenses or DWI offenses with other aggravating factors.
The measure makes a 12 to 36 month prison sentence mandatory for people convicted of driving while impaired when multiple aggravating factors are also present and proven. The measure also increases the maximum fines available to the court in sentencing. Laura’s Law raises the potential maximum fine to ,000. Court costs are also raised 0 in the bill.
The law provides stiffer penalties for North Carolina DWI offenses associated with aggravating factors. Aggravating factors include allegations a DWI offense while driving without a valid license, causing a serious injury in a DWI accident and a DWI while driving with a person under the age of 16 in the vehicle.
The law allows jail credit for time spent in in-patient alcohol-treatment facilities. The prison sentence would include a period of supervised release during the final four months of the sentence. The supervised release would be accompanied by continuous alcohol monitoring.
The measure passed the General Assembly and is on its way to the Governor’s desk. Governor Bev Purdue is expected to sign the tougher DWI measure into law.
Source: The Times News, “Laura’s Law headed to governor’s desk,” 16 Jun 2011