Duke star Paolo Banchero charged with aiding, abetting DWI. Here’s what that means


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Duke basketball star and likely NBA lottery pick Paolo Banchero is facing a charge of aiding and abetting impaired driving that stems from a weekend DWI incident involving both him and a teammate — the grandson of Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski.

But what is that charge, exactly? And what could the punishment be?

North Carolina statute indicates that aiding and abetting driving while impaired takes place when someone knowingly aids, advises, encourages or instigates another person to drive or attempt to drive while impaired, and that person then drives while impaired.

The most common application involves a person giving control of his or her vehicle to someone who drives while impaired and rides along as a passenger.

Authorities say Banchero, 19, was a passenger in a car driven by Michael Savarino, 20, who faces three charges — including DWI — after the arrest early Sunday near Hillsborough in Orange County.

Banchero faces a Dec. 8 court date.

According to state statute, a conviction of aiding and abetting DWI carries a Level 5 punishment — the least serious among those related to DWIs.

It can carry a fine of up to $200 and a jail sentence between 24 hours and 60 days, but state law allows for the jail time to be suspended and the person instead placed on probation.

The native of Seattle is a key piece in the latest star-studded class of freshmen for the seventh-ranked Blue Devils (3-0). The preseason player of the year in the Atlantic Coast Conference appears among the first few picks of most mock drafts for 2022, and is a likely one-and-done player in Durham.

He is averaging 19.3 points and 8.7 rebounds and had 18 points in a 67-56 victory over Campbell on Saturday night, hours before the incident.

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