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Drive on North Carolina roads long enough and you'll likely come across the scene of an accident. You might wonder what caused the accident and if someone died.

The answers are often that excessive speed or drunk driving caused the accident, and unfortunately many of those accidents result in deaths.

A study by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles outlines exactly the causes and costs of poor driving decisions.

Accident statistics

The state DMV released a series of statistics that show traffic accidents through 2016. They found that of the 1,441 people killed in traffic accidents in 2016, 28 percent of the deaths were caused by drunk drivers (402 deaths) and 32 percent of the deaths were caused by excessive speed (464 deaths).

While the report doesn't break out speeding data by city, it does note that in Statesville, there were a total of 902 crashes in 2016 that resulted in four deaths and 577 injuries. Of those, 30 crashes were due to alcohol with two fatalities and 29 injuries.

Iredell County saw similar statistics: In 2016, there were 4,354 crashes and 22 fatalities and 2,276 injuries. Of those, 184 accidents were alcohol related with four deaths and 147 injuries.

DWI penalties

The state Department of Public Safety outlines the various penalties for those caught driving while impaired:

  • Level V is punishable by a $200 fine and between one and 60 days in jail. One day of community service or a license suspension of 30 days are at the judge's discretion.
  • Level IV is punishable by a $500 fine and between two and 120 days in jail. Two days of community service or 60 days of license suspension are possible.
  • Level III is punishable by a $1,000 fine and between three days and six months in jail. Three days of community service or 90 days of license suspension are possible.
  • Level II is punishable by a $2,000 fine and between seven days and one year in jail.
  • Level I is punishable by a $4,000 fine and between 30 days and two years in jail.
  • Level (A)I is punishable by a $10,000 fine and between 120 days and three years in jail.

Level I and II are for those who are caught driving drunk and are repeat offenders, driving with a revoked license, transporting young children or who hurt someone in a crash.

Those who have had three DWI convictions within seven years are categorized as habitual DWI offenders and face a minimum of one year in jail.

If you or someone you know faces charges of speeding or DWI, it's important you contact a lawyer to help them with their case.

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The Law Office of Michael D. Cleaves, PLLC

129 North Green Street Statesville, NC 28677 Toll Free: 888-397-7618 Fax: 704-871-0427 Statesville Law Office Map