BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- We've learned there's a loophole in the law that let's some drivers charged with DWI keep their license and keep on driving even if they've killed someone.
Richard Constantineau's still pretty beat up after hitting a woman head-on last week. The wreck killed her, and investigators say he had some sort of drugs in his system.
Constantineau is out of the hospital and out of jail now, but he still has his driver license.
The NC Highway Patrol says he crossed the center line on NC 211 last week, hit 23-year-old Stephanie Heath head-on and killed her instantly. He's charged with felony death by vehicle and DWI. And now, if he wants, he can get right back behind the wheel.
You probably are asking the same thing we are: how does that happen?
First we called District Attorney Rex Gore, who said this isn't his case, so he wouldn't comment on it and recommended we call ADA Sarah Garner, who's prosecuting the case.
Garner said the case is pending, so she absolutely would not comment on it either.
We explained to her that we didn't want to talk specifics, but rather about the loophole and how the law allows some people charged with DWI to get right back in the drivers seat. She still refused to answer questions, so we called Gore back.
Even on the second call he couldn't answer our questions.
So here's what we've been able to find out so far. According to Highway Patrol, if a driver is in an accident and law enforcement does not give a breathalyzer or take a blood sample at the scene, his or her license cannot be instantly revoked.
A judge could decide to take away his driving privileges if the DA's office makes a recommendation, but that hasn't happened in Constantineau's case. And no matter what the judge decides, the DMV can override it at any time.
Police say Constantineau has several broken ribs and he's in a lot of pain, so he probably will not physically be able to drive, but as we mentioned, legally, he could be sharing the road with us at any time.
For full disclosure we want to remind you that Heath's father Ray works here at WWAY.