Articles Posted in driving while impaired

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On Monday night, a wrong-way crash involving multiple cars and two semi trucks sent at least two people to the hospital. According to WLOS ABC News Channel 13, the incident happened on I-40, near the Wiggins Road exit. Initial reports indicate that 42-year-old Kristen Williams got on I-40 going the wrong way. She was headed east in the westbound lanes. She struck a semi truck head-on, another semi truck and a pickup truck. Although Williams is listed in critical condition at the hospital, she has been charged with DWI.

Pickup Truck Driver Injured

First responders and crews had portions of the roadway shut down for nearly two and a half hours. In addition to Williams, the driver of the pickup truck was also transported to the hospital for treatment of injuries. We don’t know the extent of injuries involved, but we do know that person has been treated and released. There is still no word on the extent of Williams’ injuries or if her condition has stabilized.

U.S. Drunk Driving Stats

  • Approximately, one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the U.S. involve drunk drivers.
  • In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
  • In 2013, 65 percent of people killed in drunk driving crashes were the drunk drivers themselves.
  • Every year, drunk driving crashes cost more than an estimated $37 billion.
  • In 2013, approximately 1 in 5 child passenger deaths occurred in drunk driving crashes.

Drunk Driving Accidents in Asheville

Even with increased enforcement, we typically see a lot of injury-causing and fatal drunk driving crashes in North Carolina and across the nation. Labor Day is an especially deadly holiday, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is getting ready for their annual anti-drunk driving safety campaign. Law enforcement in Asheville and the surrounding communities will likely be stepping up enforcement too.

After a Drunk Driving Accident in Asheville

Car accidents involving drunk drivers can leave victims in the hospital, out of work, or worse. These crashes can often involve head-on collisions or other devastating types of wrecks. If you have been injured or if you have lost a loved one in an accident involving a drunk driver, contact the skilled legal team at Davis Law Group, P.A. at 866-397-2897 for a free consultation.

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drinklineup.jpgThe Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to four manufacturers of caffeinated alcoholic drinks, directing them to stop adding caffeine to the popular drinks within 15 days or face stop selling them altogether.

FDA warned four companies that the caffeine added to their alcoholic malt beverages is an “unsafe food additive” and said that further action, including seizure of their products, is possible under federal law. Warning letters were issued to the following companies:

Charge Beverages Corp.: Core High Gravity HG Green, Core High Gravity HG Orange, and Lemon Lime Core Spiked
New Century Brewing Co., LLC: Moonshot
Phusion Projects, LLC (doing business as Drink Four Brewing Co.): Four Loko
United Brands Company Inc.: Joose and Max
The FDA Commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, asserted that the drinks appeared to pose a serious public health threat because the caffeine masked the effects of the alcohol, leading to “a state of wide-awake drunk.” The drinks at issue are carbonated malt beverages with fruit flavors and very high levels of alcohol; Four Loko is 12 percent alcohol by volume and has up to 156 milligrams of caffeine per can. The effect of consuming alcohol and caffeine is that people get more intoxicated and engage in more dangerous behavior when they drink the combination beverages than when they drink alcohol alone.
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Nascar crew chief.jpgFormer Nascar Ultra Motorsports pit crew chief, Timothy Kohuth, 49, pleaded guilty to 2nd Degree Murder last week in Iredell County Superior Court. As a result, he will spend at least the next 9 years in jail. The maximum he could serve is 12 years. The plea deal arises out of the fatal crash Kohuth caused in 2008.

On July 31, 2008, Kohuth drank to the point he was severely intoxicated and then drove a rollback wrecker on Brawley School Road, crossed the center line, and then collided with a vehicle driven by Wesley Worden. The head-on impact killed Mr. Worden instantly and severely injured his wife, Gail.

At the plea deal hearing in court, District Attorney Sarah Kirkman said, “Witnesses said he got out of the truck and a 24-ounce beer fell out of his lap.” After the crash, EMS took Kohuth to the hospital, but he refused to take either a breath or blood test to determine the amount of alcohol in his blood. State Troopers sought and obtained a search warrant and forced Kohuth to submit to a blood test. Approximately six hours after the fatal crash and after receiving a substantial amount of IV fluids, the test showed Kohuth’s blood alcohol level to be .08, the legal limit in North Carolina.
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Laura Fortenberry.jpgThe recent death of a Gaston County teenager, Laura Fortenberry, age 17, should lead North Carolina lawmakers to change the current law regarding how long a convicted drunk driver must wear an ankle alcohol monitoring bracelet.

Last Sunday night, on the Dallas-Cherryville Highway around 9 p.m., a habitual drunk driver, Howard Pasour, 28, of Bessemer City, tried passing several vehicles on the two lane road. While making the passing maneuver, the drunk driver crashed head-on into the vehicle in which Ms. Fortenberry was riding as a passenger. Ms. Fortenberry was killed in the crash.

The drunk driver has three previous convictions for drunk driving. His last conviction for DWI was last year in 2009. When he got his driver’s license back this time in November, 2009, a judge ordered that he wear a continuous alcohol monitoring bracelet so that authorities could keep track of his whereabouts and make sure that he was not driving drunk. So where was the monitoring bracelet?
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tanker explosion.jpgA wrongful death claim brought by a Forsyth County, North Carolina widow on behalf of her deceased husband recently resulted in a $6,000,000 jury verdict. The case is Roadway Express and Constance Sue Horn, Individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Mark Joseph Horn v. Mickey Joe Hayes and The Inzone, Inc.

In the early morning hours of March 7, 2004, Mark Horn drove his Roadway Express tractor trailer northbound on US Highway 52. At the same time, defendant Mickey Hayes, who had been drinking at The Inzone sports bar for several hours prior to entering the highway, was racing another vehicle headed northbound on US Highway 52. Witnesses reported observing the racing cars traveling at speeds over 100 miles per hour. As defendant Hayes came up behind Mr. Horn’s tractor trailer, he attempted to pass him in the emergency lane on the right hand side of the highway.

As defendant Hayes got along side of the tractor trailer, both vehicles were approaching a bridge, and defendant Hayes veered in front and cut the tractor trailer off at the last minute. Mr. Horn swerved and crashed through the bridge, and his tractor trailer exploded and burst into flames as it impacted the roadway below the bridge. Mr. Horn died in the crash.
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