Two New North Carolina Laws Target Drivers

Nov 30, 2011

The WHQR News Team continues a series on laws taking effect tomorrow in North Carolina. Laura’s Law focuses on drunk driving and as Sara Wood reports, it creates a new level of sentencing for defendants with three or more grossly aggravating factors.

Aggravated Level 1 or A1 offenders will be slapped with increased jail time, from one month to what is now four months, and increased fines from $4,000 dollars to what is now $10,000. New Hanover County Assistant District Attorney Doug Carriker says the law is targeted for repeat misdemeanor DWI offenders.

 “No law can change people’s hearts, no law can bring back what’s lost. But this is a good law. And it’s another sign that the law is never going to get any easier for DWI offenders, it’s just going to get harder.”

The law also increases the alcohol monitoring period post-release for at least 120 days using ankle bracelets to test sweat for signs of alcohol use.

Another law concerning motorcycle safety goes into effect. 

The Motorcycle Safety Act dramatically increases fines from $30 to $200 for drivers making unsafe movements that cause motorcyclists to leave the road or change lanes. Fines for drivers causing personal injury or property damage increase from $50 to $500. James Curtis Manning is a trooper with the North Carolina Motorcycle Highway Patrol Unit and says this is a common occurrence.

“As a motorcycle law officer we do see this a lot. This happens to us. And I’m on a Martin motorcycle that has blue lights and a siren. So I know it’s a problem, if you’ll do it to a trooper on a motorcycle, you’ll obviously do it to somebody who’s not.”

To view the full text of Laura's Law and the Motorcycle Safety Act, visit the North Carolina General Assembly web site.