Have you ever been in a situation where you allowed someone to get behind the wheel after drinking? If so, you may wonder if you could face criminal charges for aiding and abetting a DUI.
In this blog post, we’ll explain the concept of aiding and abetting a DUI in North Carolina and what can happen to you if you allow someone to drive while intoxicated.
What Is Aiding and Abetting a DUI in North Carolina?
Under North Carolina law, it is illegal for anyone to aid or abet another person’s impaired driving. This means that if you are aware that someone has consumed alcohol or drugs and will likely be operating a vehicle while impaired but still allow them to do so, you could be charged with a crime.
The exact language used in North Carolina General Statute 20-138.1 is:
It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to aid or abet any other person to violate any provision of this Article.
This includes the laws regarding driving while impaired. The statute also states that anyone who violates this law shall “be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.”
In other words, if convicted of aiding and abetting a DUI, you could face up to 120 days in jail and/or fines up to $1,000.
Breaking Down “Knowingly” Aiding and Abetting an NC DUI
So, what does it mean when we say that someone must “knowingly” aid or abet another person’s impaired driving to be charged? In short, it means that the individual must have known that their actions would lead to an impaired driver getting behind the wheel.
For example, if you had no knowledge that your friend was drunk before allowing them to drive away from an event such as a party or bar, you cannot be held criminally liable for their decision. However, if you knew your friend was drinking throughout the evening and allowed them to drive home anyway – even though you knew it was dangerous – you could potentially face criminal charges for aiding and abetting impaired driving.
Penalties for Aiding and Abetting a DUI in North Carolina
In addition to facing criminal penalties such as jail time or fines, individuals convicted of aiding and abetting a DUI may also have their license suspended or revoked by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS).
According to DPS FAQs on Driving While Impaired (DWI), individuals convicted of “aiding and encouraging DWI/DUI by providing transportation or keys” can have their license suspended for up to 90 days, depending on the severity of their offense. Furthermore, any individual found guilty of aiding and abetting DWI/DUI may also be required by DPS to complete an alcohol/drug assessment before being eligible for reinstatement of their driver’s license.
The bottom line? Aiding and abetting impaired driving is a serious business in North Carolina. Those convicted can face criminal penalties like jail time or fines and having their license suspended or revoked by DPS.
So next time you find yourself in a situation where someone has had too much to drink but insists on driving home anyway – think twice before giving them the car keys. Make sure everyone at your gathering gets home safely by using alternative modes of transportation such as ride-sharing services or calling taxis instead.
And if you have been charged with aiding and abetting impaired driving, don’t wait – contact our experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorneys today. We’ll make sure your rights are protected throughout the entire process.