A woman was charged with Driving While Impaired for an car accident in Charlotte, NC early Friday morning. Akesha Balknight was also charged with Driving While License Revoked.
A witness reported that Ms. Balknight was traveling 45mph when she passed through a red light at the intersection of Idlewild Road and Margaret-Wallace Road, striking another vehicle in the intersection. The other vehicle was propelled 72 feet and finally came to a rest when it went up and embankment and struck a tree. Both drivers and passengers were transported to CMC.
Punitive Damages in Drunk Driving Cases
In North Carolina, victims who are injured by a drunk driver are entitled to make a claim for Punitive Damages. Punitive Damages are money damages that are separate and distinct from compensatory damages. Punitive Damages are intended to punish a defendant for “egregiously wrongful acts and to deter the defendant and others from committing similar wrongful acts,” such as Driving While Impaired. The injured party must prove one of three things before recovering Punitive Damages: fraud, malice, or willful or wanton conduct. A conviction of Driving While Impaired certainly meets the willful or wanton conduct criteria. While North Carolina has placed a cap on Punitive Damages awards, this cap does not apply in cases involving drunk drivers.