Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in North Carolina is a serious offense. A conviction for DUI charges can result in a whole host of very severe penalties, from driver's license suspension and jail time to probation and monetary fines. In many states, including North Carolina, there are also statutes that allow for additional penalties for individuals who are convicted of drunk driving with a minor in the vehicle.
A 37-year-old Mills River physician is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol with her three-year-old child in the car. The North Carolina woman was arrested shortly after local deputies received calls about an erratic driver in the neighborhood. According to local authorities, a breathalyzer test revealed that the woman had a blood alcohol content of .13. The legal blood-alcohol content level in North Carolina is .08.
The arrest reportedly occurred shortly after a domestic disturbance was reported at the woman's home in the Mills River area. Authorities said the suspect's husband had requested an assault warrant after the woman slapped him. The woman has since been charged with driving while impaired and child abuse. The child abuse charges stem from allegations that woman minor child was in the car at the time of the DUI.
Currently only seven states do not have statutes that include some form of enhanced penalties for DWI or DUI cases involving child passengers. In North Carolina, for example, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol with a passenger under the age of 16 in the vehicle is considered a grossly aggravated factor under the state's DUI statute. If convicted, motorists face extended jail sentences and larger fines.
Source: Fox, "NC doctor accused of driving drunk with child," Joe Borlik, July 18, 2013