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Laura Fortenberry

When 17-year-old Laura Fortenberry was killed by a repeat drunk driver on a North Carolina Highway in 2010, the State got tough. Lawmakers drafted and passed a law that mandates stricter sentencing and Continuous Alcohol Monitoring during community supervision.

Cracking Down on Drunk Drivers in North Carolina

North Carolina leads the nation in its legislative efforts to enhance public safety by dealing with repeat DWI offenders. Thanks to Laura’s Law and a number of other statutes now on the books, chronic drunk drivers now face stiffer penalties and increased requirements for abstinence and alcohol monitoring. Specifically, North Carolina has introduced requirements for Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM), which tests offenders every 30 minutes, 24/7/365, to verify compliance.

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North Carolina’s CAM-Related Statutes at a Glance

  • SL 2011-191 (HB 49) | Laura’s Law – Passed to honor teenager Laura Fortenberry, who was killed by a drunk driver already on probation for a previous DWI, Laura’s Law dramatically increases penalties forDWI offenders with three or more aggravating factors. The law calls for higher fines, definite prison terms, and mandatory use of CAM.
  • SL 2012-49 (HB 494) | Continuous Alcohol Monitoring – This law provides for the use of CAM as a condition of pretrial release or post-conviction probation for the offense of impaired driving. It also allows for the use of CAM to ensure compliance with child custody or visitation orders.
  • SL 2009-500 (HB 926) | CAM for Restoration of Revoked License – This legislation enables the Department of Motor Vehicles to conditionally restore a revoked license using CAM as follows:
    • Four-year license revocation – Restoration hearing at two years with a minimum of 120 days on CAM
    • Permanent revocation – Restoration hearing at two years with minimum of 365 days on CAM