It is well known that someone can be arrested for driving while impaired if they drive a vehicle after consuming too much alcohol. However someone in North Carolina can also be arrested if he or she knowingly permits another person to drive their vehicle while intoxicated. The crime is called aiding and abetting a DWI. Specifically, the court articulated the rule in State v. Goode which stated that someone aids and abets impaired driving if he knowingly advises, instigates, encourages or aids another person to drive while impaired and his actions cause or contributes to the commission of the crime. State v. Goode, 350 N.C. 247,260 (1999).
A situation in which someone is charged with this crime commonly arises when someone lets another drive his vehicle, knowing that the driver is impaired at the time and rides in the vehicle with the intoxicated driver. If someone is killed in an accident in this scenario the passenger can be found to be as guilty as the driver. See State v. Whitaker, 43 N.C. App. 600, 604-05 (1979). Some question remains what would happen if someone just allowed an intoxicated driver to their vehicle if they are not actually in the vehicle with the impaired driver. So far North Carolina has not decided this question, but other jurisdictions have answered this question in the affirmative, holding that someone who turns over his vehicle to an intoxicated driver is just as guilty as the intoxicated driver.
If you should find yourself in a situation where you have been charged with a DWI you need to contact an attorney who has the experience and knowledge necessary to handle your case with the care it deserves. For a private, confidential consultation with one of our experienced DWI lawyers, please call 704-499-9000 or toll-free 877-374-5999 even on weekends or holidays. Visit our main page here.