Alcohol Causing Sharp Increase in Wrong-Way Accidents
Wrong-way driving accidents are among the most deadly that a driver can experience. When two cars are traveling toward each other at a high speed, the force of the vehicles is doubled upon impact, making the risk of fatality exceptionally high in these collisions. This is particularly true for the driver and front-seat passenger, as the front of the vehicle can be completely compacted. Wrong-way driving accidents used to be somewhat of an anomaly, but during the pandemic these kinds of accidents dramatically increased. The reason, according to experts, is alcohol.
Most Wrong-Way Driving Accidents are DWIs
Most wrong-way driving accidents occur late at night and on weekends. Previously, people had theorized that this was because it was harder to see at night and more people were traveling on roads on weekends. However, a recent study has pinpointed a much different cause for these late-night and weekend accidents. The study revealed that over 60% of all wrong-way drivers who caused a fatal collision had a blood alcohol level that was over the legal limit of .08. Additionally, another 36% of drivers were found to have some amount of alcohol in their system but were not legally intoxicated. This means that the majority of wrong-way accidents are also drunk driving accidents. Of course, it is important to remember that a driver does not have to have a BAC in excess of .08 in order to be charged or convicted of DWI in North Carolina. If officers observe you to be driving impaired or believe you to be impaired based on factors like the smell of alcohol on your person, erratic driving, slurred speech, or failure of a field sobriety test, this is sufficient to charge you. This also means that alcohol could still be found to be a factor in a wrong-way driving accident even if you were not over the legal limit. In other words, the very occurrence of the accident could demonstrate to officers that alcohol impaired your ability to drive, even if your BAC was .01 or if no breathalyzer was given at all but other factors indicated the presence of alcohol in your system.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If you are facing DWI charges, particularly if there are additional offenses on top of them, it is absolutely critical to talk to a DWI defense attorney as soon as possible so that we can begin evaluating your case and determining the best path forward. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, we may be able to help you get your case dismissed or your charges reduced to a less serious offense. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will develop a legal strategy that challenges the state's evidence of intoxication, presents a strong defense, and leads you to the best possible outcome.
Schedule a Consultation with Coastal South Law
If you are facing DWI charges in North Carolina, you do not have to navigate the process alone. To talk to one of our experienced North Carolina DWI and criminal defense attorneys, contact Coastal South Law today and schedule a consultation.