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North Carolina man accused of DWI in fatal accident with cyclist

On March 13, a North Carolina man's pickup collided with a bicycle while traveling along an interstate. According to a local news report, the cyclist died a little more than a week later at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Police have charged the driver of the pickup with DWI, having an open container, transporting spirituous liquor and failure to maintain lane control.

The 29-year-old driver of the pickup was travelling on U.S. 29/Business I-85 North when his vehicle apparently hit the 30-year-old cyclist. The man on the bicycle was not wearing a helmet, and the impact of the collision was said to have thrown him over 100 feet from his bicycle. Another cyclist he was traveling with was not injured.

Police claim the pickup driver's blood-alcohol level was 0.14 percent. Readers in Mecklenburg County know that the legal blood-alcohol limit for driving in North Carolina is 0.08 percent.

Despite the severity of the charges against the pickup driver, it is important to remember that blood-alcohol tests are not always foolproof and have been known to give erroneous results. That could be the case here, especially considering that the driver was traveling at about 55 miles per hour when the accident happened -- hardly an unsafe speed on most highways.

Though the exact traffic laws for this section North Carolina road were not detailed in a local news report, bicycles typically are not allowed on interstate thoroughfares. A close investigation of the accident may turn up other such circumstances that could result in a reduction or dismissal of charges against the pickup driver.

Source: MyFOX8.com, "Bicyclist dies from injuries in Davidson Co. wreck," Joe Borlik, March 25, 2012

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