One of the expensive consequences of a drunk driving conviction in North Carolina is the increase in auto insurance. Drivers with a DWI may end up with a car insurance premium that is three times their rate before a DWI. Other drivers may be dropped from their insurance company and be left searching for expensive insurance coverage before they can drive again.
Drivers who work for insurance companies should be aware of the penalties that go along with a DWI conviction. An insurance company executive has been charged with DWI and child abuse after a traffic accident in Randolph County. This shows that any driver in North Carolina can make a one-time mistake and end up under arrest for driving while impaired (DWI).
Arrested for a DWI
Dr. Patrick Conway is the President and CEO of one North Carolina's largest health insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. On June 22nd, Conway was involved in a car accident on Interstate 85. Conway had his two minor daughters in the car at the time and no one involved suffered any injuries.
When police arrived, they arrested Conway on suspicion of driving while impaired. According to local news, officers noticed the smell of alcohol, red and bloodshot eyes, and slurred speech. Conway refused a breathalyzer test. Additionally, because there were two children in the vehicle at the time, Conway was also charged with misdemeanor child abuse.
DWI with Child Passengers
Under North Carolina General Statute § 20-179(c)(4), a DWI with a child under the age of 18 is in the vehicle is an aggravating factor for sentencing. The penalties for a DWI with a child passenger includes a minimum of 30 days in jail and a maximum of two years in jail. As a Level 1 punishment, a driver will also be unable to get limited driving privileges during the license revocation period.
Where the judge has some discretion in DWI sentencing, many judges look harshly on impaired drivers who had a child passenger. In Conway's case, he was driving with two minor children at the time.
Job Consequences After a DWI
Drivers in any occupation can get a DWI. The consequences associated with a DWI can also impact their job and future job prospects. Many drivers rely on their car to get them to and from work every day. When a driver's license is revoked because of a DWI, it may impact their ability to get to work.
So far, it appears Conway will keep his job with Blue Cross. However, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said Blue Cross should name an interim CEO until the criminal charges are resolved. According to Causey:
“What is even more alarming is the appearance that the board and executive team worked to hide the arrest from the public's attention – then was almost dismissive of the troubling charges when reported in the news media.”
After a DWI Arrest in North Carolina
Having just one drink too many can put a driver over the limit and at risk of a drunk driving arrest. At Caulder & Valentine Law Firm, PLLC, we have helped drivers and their families deal with criminal DWI charges to stay out of jail and keep their driver's license. Contact us today in Shelby for a consultation.