Michael Wayne Upton is a serial DUI offender. The North Carolina man faces his ninth DUI charge after he was pulled over in Cramerton. According to police reports, Upton ran a red light and drove in the wrong lane. Police detained Upton when they determined he was driving while impaired, noting that he had been convicted seven times and has now been charged a total of nine times for driving while impaired.
Under North Carolina law, even a single drunk driving offense is a very serious crime, and the penalties can be substantially more severe depending on the circumstances of your arrest and the number of times you have been convicted previously. Given that this would be Upton’s ninth offense, he will face a permanent driver license revocation. In addition, he faces up to three years in prison. Still, Upton can thank his lucky stars that he did not have any children in the car with him.
Had Upton been driving with a child or children under the age of 18 in his vehicle, he would be facing child endangerment charges in addition to the charge of driving while impaired. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), North Carolina law provides for a fine of up to $4,000 and up to 24 months behind bars if a person drives while impaired and has a child in the car. MADD also reports that 17 percent of children who died in car crashes in 2010 were killed as a result of a drunk driver chauffeuring them around. This law also provides for mandatory jail time for even a first offender if there is a person under the age of 18 in the car and they are convicted of driving while impaired.
If you or a loved one has been accused of driving while under the influence, it is important to contact a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. Many people do not realize the severity of the crime they have committed. Unlike most other traffic violations, DUI can carry very serious penalties including jail time, even if you did not hurt anyone. Your attorney can help you to craft a vigorous defense in order to fight the charges against you. If you had children in the car at the time that you were pulled over, it is doubly important that you have legal representation as the charges and punishment you could face will be even more severe.