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MADD seeks harsher penalties for drunk driving charges

The opioid crisis has many in North Carolina seeking solutions to all manner of impairment issues. Additionally, some jurisdictions are looking for stricter ways to deal with those who operate motor vehicles while impaired. Drunk driving charges carry increasingly harsher penalties as lawmakers join the fight. Finding solutions to one special cause has one region calling for penalties that are even more severe.

A local law enforcement agency has formed a task force to study the issue of drivers who are impaired with children in their vehicles. With the support of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, the task force met to brainstorm ways to protect children who are placed in dangerous situations, such as when the adult responsible for them is unfit to drive. Representatives from MADD say incidents of child endangerment are increasing, and laws are changing too slowly to satisfy the advocates of stricter penalties for DUI convictions.

MADD, along with North Carolina police, wants to find ways to prevent those charged with DUI with a child in the vehicle from avoiding jail time. Currently, those facing such charges can accept 30 days of alcohol treatment in lieu of jail time. While they work to change the laws allowing this option, members of MADD are also trying to educate children to recognize the signs of impairment in their drivers and to avoid getting in the car with them.

While MADD and others may see the option of alcohol dependency treatment as a way to avoid jail, for someone facing drunk driving charges, it may be the difference between life and death. Removing that option may send many into a spiral of addiction and its consequences. Those facing such charges may seek the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney. Every defendant has the right to contest formal charges and, should a conviction be obtained, to a fair sentence pursuant North Carolina law.

Source:, "DWI Task Force focuses on child endangerment", Rex Hodge, Oct. 6, 2017

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MADD seeks harsher penalties for drunk driving charges | Messer Law Firm