North Carolina Insurance Executive Charged with DWI and Child Abuse

Posted by Josh Valentine | Sep 24, 2019

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.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar