Asheville, NC- Drunk driving kills!! That is message continuously hammered into the heads of motorists and it appears as though that message is getting through to drivers in North Carolina since new statistics show drunken driving fatalities are decreasing in the state.

Data from the State Highway Patrol shows that drunken driving fatalities in North Carolina declined by 20 percent in last year. According to WBTW, North Carolina State Patrol investigated 5,460 DWI incidents in 2014. Of those incidents, 3,697 involved injuries, and 191 involved a fatality which represents a 20 percent decline over the 228 people who were killed in DWI accidents in 2013.

It should be noted that those figures only represent the DWI accidents and arrests conducted by the North Carolina State Patrol and don’t include arrests from other law enforcement agencies.

If you have been charged with impaired driving you should contact a North Carolina DWI attorney as soon as you can to begin evaluating your case. The more time you give your legal counsel to work on your case, the better chance you have of avoiding conviction or getting reduced penalties.

An Asheville man is going to need a good lawyer now that he is facing two DWI charges. The Asheville Citizen Times reports that John Wallace Vestal, 33, was arrested for driving while intoxicated twice on Sunday.

Vestal was first stopped by police around 1:30 a.m. on Chunns Cove Road, and was charged with DWI and having an open container in the front passengers seat. His blood alcohol content was .18, over twice the state’s legal limit and he was taken to jail.

A few hours later, Vestal was released from jail only to be arrested again shortly after his release. Asheville police stopped him on Charlotte Street at 5:40 a.m. after he ran a red light, the Citizen Times reported. For his second arrest Vestal, whose BAC was .14, was charged with DWI and driving with a revoked license.

That was not a smart move on Vestal’s part, but it is not at all unusual for drivers to get two DWIs/DUIs in one night. People just don’t take DWIs seriously until it’s too late, and by then they are facing severe consequences.

The drunk driving laws and penalties are somewhat different in the state of North Carolina. Whether a DWI defendant gets jail time depends on whether their arrest involved aggravating circumstances. Those circumstances can include blood alcohol concentration, number of DWI arrests, whether there was a child in the car or if the driver had a suspended or revoked license. DWI arrests are rated on a scale from 1 to 5. With Level 1 DWI offenses being the worst and Level 5 being minor.

The severity of a DWI offender’s penalties is dictated by the Level of offense they are facing. Judges in the state have the discretion to sentence a DWI offender for one day in jail up to three years in jail depending on the level of offense. Prior DWI arrests within the past 7 years will also factor into a person’s sentence. Having an Asheville DWI attorney working on your defense is the only way to minimize the possible consequences of your North Carolina DWI.