Often law enforcement will charge someone with Aid and Abet of DWI even when they were not driving or sometimes not even in the car with the driver, or the car’s owner. This means that the person who is driving or operating the car is charged with Driving While Impaired and the owner of the car, the person who gave the driver the keys, or knowingly helped the driver get behind the wheel is charged.

A North Carolina Court of Appeals case set out what the punishment as follows:

“A party who aids and abets another in driving while impaired is guilty as a principal. Smith v. Winn-Dixie Charlotte, Inc., 2001, 142 N.C.App. 255, 542 S.E.2d 288, review denied 353 N.C. 452, 548 S.E.2d 528.”

This means that if you are charged with Aid and Abet DWI you can have the same punishment as if you were guilty of the DWI itself.

But what does the State have to prove to convict someone of Aid and Abet DWI? – They have to prove BEYOND a reasonable doubt that the driver is guilty of driving while impaired in violation of NCGS § 20-138.1.

The elements of Driving While Impaired are:

— A person commits the offense of impaired driving if he drives any vehicle upon any highway, any street, or any public vehicular area within this State:

(1) While under the influence of an impairing substance; or

(2) After having consumed sufficient alcohol that he has, at any relevant time after the driving, an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. The results of a chemical analysis shall be deemed sufficient evidence to prove a person’s alcohol concentration; or

(3) With any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance, as listed in G.S. 90-89, or its metabolites in his blood or urine.

So, the State must prove that the driver is guilty of Driving While Impaired and then must prove that the Defendant charged with Aid and Abet Driving While Impaired did knowingly aid and abet the driver.

Similarly, if you have been charged with Aid and Abet Driving While License Revoked the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly and willfully aided and abetted someone who you knew was on a revoked license.

If you have been charged with Aid and Abet Driving While Impaired or Aid and Abet Driving While License Revoked talk to an experienced attorney who can help with your charges.