Underage UNC Student Causes Fatal DWI Accident

This past week, a 20 year old UNC student caused a fatal car accident on Interstate 85. Chandler Kania was driving the wrong way on the highway for approximately six miles before his vehicle crashed into a sedan that had a driver and three passengers in it. As a result, the driver of the sedan and two other passengers were killed, including a 6 year old girl. Kania appeared in court early Thursday morning where the prosecution revealed that Kania presented a fake ID to the law enforcement officials. The prosecutor also mentioned that people physically tried to prevent Kania from getting into his vehicle but he did so anyway, causing this deadly accident. Kania has been charged with DWI and second-degree murder.

Comparison of Texas and North Carolina Underage DWI Laws

Like Texas, the state of North Carolina has a zero tolerance policy for underage consumption of alcohol. A person under the age of 21 in North Carolina may be charged with a DWI as long as he or she has operated a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. Use of a fraudulent driver’s license or other form of ID will also bring forth additional penalties. Upon being charged for a DWI, any person under the age of 21 will have their license suspended for a 30-day pretrial period, followed by license suspension for a year thereafter. The court may impose additional penalties on an underage DWI offender such as:

  • Fines
  • Court costs
  • Community service

Comparably, underage DWI offenders in Texas face penalties such as:

  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Fines up to $500
  • Alcohol education program
  • Community service
  • Installation of ignition interlock device
  • Court costs

Penalties for Causing Death in a DWI-Related Accident

Kania faces the additional charge of second degree murder for causing the deaths of two women and a six year old girl. If this accident had occurred in Texas, Kania may instead face the charge of intoxication manslaughter. An offender may be charged with intoxication manslaughter if he or she:

  • Operates a motor vehicle
  • In public
  • Is intoxicated
  • By reason of that intoxication, causes the death of another
  • Death caused by accident or mistake

In addition to intoxication manslaughter, if being prosecuted in Texas, Kania could also face charges such as:

  • Reckless driving, for driving on the wrong side of the highway
  • Reckless endangerment, for imposing risk of injury or death to other drivers on Interstate 85 by driving on the wrong side of the highway
  • Intoxication assault, for any injuries he may have caused to the surviving passenger

When you make the decision to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated, you are imposing a serious risk of injury or death on yourself, other drivers and passengers, and the community at large. As a result, you face serious consequences ranging from jail time, to heavy fines, to license revocation. If any other persons are injured or killed as a result of your DWI you may face additional, more severe charges including manslaughter or assault.

If you have been charged with a DWI, it is important that you seek a team of experienced DWI attorneys who have a track record of success in challenging DWI charges. The Wilder DWI Defense Firm has the expertise and knowledge required to defend you through your DWI court process. Contact the firm today to schedule your free consultation.