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Greenville, OBX & Rocky Mount, North Carolina

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Rick Shapiro
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North Carolina Woman Killed by Drunk Driver

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Police in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina have identified a car passenger who was killed on March 16 in a drunk driving crash.

The woman’s name was Wendy Stokes, 34, and she died at the DUI crash scene at the intersection of Freedom Drive and Thriftwood Drive in Charlotte. The deadly accident happened at approximately 3 PM.

http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/impaired_driving/images/buzzed-driving.gif

A BAC of as little as .05 increase accident risks, according to reviews of traffic accident reports done for the NHTSA.

 

The woman was in the right front passenger seat of a Nissan Sentra at the time of the wreck. Police say that the Sentra was going north when it failed to stop at a stop sign. The Sentra went into the path of a Mitsubishi on Freedom Drive. After the crash, both vehicles drove off the road. Stokes was ejected from the Sentra and died at the scene.

The driver of the Sentra was determined by police to be under the influence of alcohol, and was arrested for DWI and felony death by motor vehicle. He has been named as Isaac Vonzell Woodall, 57.

Our View

From 2003 to 2012, there were 4102 people killed in drunk driving crashes in North Carolina. The rate of death per 100,000 population in drunk driving crashes in 2012 for North Carolina was 4.2; for the entire US, it was 3.3. Thus, North Carolina has a worse drunk driving problem than the US does as a whole.

All US states including North Carolina have various strategies to reduce the scourge of drunk driving. Some of the most effective strategies include:

  • Drunk driving laws – It is illegal in North Carolina to drive with a blood alcohol content at or above .08%. While there are still too many drunk driving crashes in North Carolina and across the US, tougher drunk driving laws have reduced the problem significantly from 20 years ago.
  • Sobriety checkpoints: These police stops allow law enforcement to stop vehicles at highly visible locations to check if the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These are legal in North Carolina.
  • Ignition interlocks: These devices are installed in the vehicles of convicted drunk drivers. In North Carolina an ignition interlock device is required for your second and subsequent DWI offense. It also is required for first offenses if the BAC is .15 or higher.

Our North Carolina and Virginia drunk driving attorneys would like to see drunk driving laws made even tougher. While there has been progress in reducing the problem in the US, drunk driving crashes kill and maim far too many people every year.

For example, a drunk driving case we handled in Norfolk, Virginia resulted in our client suffering serious leg injuries when a drunk driver actually drove up on a sidewalk and struck him. He had to have four surgeries and took months to recover. The drunk driving settlement in Norfolk was for $100,000, and we were glad to help this innocent man get the funds he needed for his recovery and lost work time.