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North Carolina underage drinking charges follow fatal crash

Minors consuming alcohol is a problem across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people under the age of 21 are responsible for consuming 11 percent of all alcohol, and 90 percent of the time, they binge drink. While 10 percent of those who hold valid drivers licenses are legally under the drinking age, 14 percent of all fatal accidents in North Carolina result from underage DUIs. A recent accident has led to underage drinking charges for a young man; however, those may be only the beginning of his troubles.

The accident occurred around 9:30 p.m. one Friday when a 19-year-old driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a tree. His 17-year-old passenger suffered fatal injuries and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital. Another passenger was transported to the hospital in critical condition. There was a fourth passenger in the vehicle, but there is no report on his or her condition. The driver suffered only minor injuries and was treated and released from the hospital.

Police subsequently charged him with underage drinking. Additional charges may be considered as police continue their investigation. If he is convicted, he faces up to a year in prison, even if this is his first offense.

North Carolina has zero tolerance for underage drinking. Fpr anyone under the age of 21 who is driving with as little as .01 blood alcohol content, the severe penalties including fines and prison. Such a conviction can affect a young person for the rest of his or her life. Having the guidance of a criminal defense attorney may provide alternatives to these harsh penalties.

Source:, "Underage Drinking Blamed For Deadly Crash", Sarah Zimmerman, Dec. 18, 2017

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North Carolina underage drinking charges follow fatal crash | Messer Law Firm