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Johnston County celebrates successes of DWI court

Posted June 16, 2009

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— A special court that handles only DWI cases in Johnston County is succeeding with its goal of clearing the case backlog, according to District Attorney Susan Doyle.

Doyle's office released data Tuesday citing 345 convictions with a conviction rate of approximately 85 percent since the court’s inception in October of 2008.

The program is funded by a grant from the Governor's Highway Safety Program. District Court judges from Wake and other surrounding counties hear DWI cases three days a week.

The DWI court was established after Doyle asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the high rate of dismissed drunken-driving cases in the county. A WRAL News investigation found 46 percent of DWI charges filed in Johnston County in 2006 were dismissed, compared with the statewide dismissal rate of 21 percent.

Part of the problem in the past with dismissals, Doyle said, is that cases were delayed while defense attorneys "shop" for judges they consider more lenient.

In March, a Johnston County grand jury indicted a former prosecutor, a former court clerk and four defense lawyers on charges that they fixed drunken-driving cases.

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  • jbco Jun 17, 2009

    news 4 you

    Of course, the dismissal problem did not occur under Mrs. Doyle but under her predecessor. No idea who uncovered it (though I think WRAL attributed it in part to a new filing system) but hard to blame at least those numbers on her since she wasn't even DA then... Just want to look at the facts instead of, again, broad claims and mud slinging. Novel concept, I know.

  • news4u Jun 17, 2009

    The Highway Patrol in Smithfield alerted Doyle to the DWI case dismissal problem.

    Doyle didn't 'uncover' it.

    She's a One-Termer.

  • jlh4jdj Jun 17, 2009

    I wonder if they popped open a bottle of wine for this?

  • jbco Jun 17, 2009

    Interesting that even when a DA calls in the SBI to investigate wrong doing, gets a conviction rate of 85%, and gets her office a grant to improve the success rate, people still want to bash her. The hard evidence seems to suggest she is doing her job well and serving the Johnston County community. Those who say otherwise do so with only vague innuendo and unsupported accusations. If you have evidence of wrong doing or a lack of success, I am sure we would all like to hear it. Same goes with the poster who claimed ADAs are not well trained. Do you have evidence of a problem? I would say a conviction rate of 85% (higher than most NC counties) suggests otherwise.

  • bngexpress Jun 17, 2009

    the good old boy network is alive and well in joco,several weeks ago a (impaired) driver hit me all but head on ,traveled several hundred feet before coming to rest in a parking lot.when smithfield pd arrived this individual was cuffed and searched ,drugs were found in his truck, yet when this persons mother come to the scene he was released and left the scene with her, after questioning him , the officer in charge said that this individual had some "problems",after looking further
    i found that this family has a elected official working in the court house , who would have guessed!

  • RonnieR Jun 17, 2009

    In most counties, it is the high Sheriff, as he/she (not the pervert kind) has the most patronage jobs to hand out.

  • JaredsMom Jun 17, 2009

    Doyle is a poor excuse for a DA. Clayton police officers say so!

  • rlt197131 Jun 17, 2009

    Pmsinvestigator, please enlighten us as to who is really running Johnston County and the court house. I live in there and would like to know. Thanks.

  • pmsinvestigator Jun 16, 2009

    Quote from Ms. Doyle "The only way to clean this is up is to give more resources to the prosecutors"...here's a thought...train your ADA's while you're at it....and of course, we know who is running Johnston County and specifically the court house. It all depends on who's in trouble if it gets recognized by the law.

  • pmsinvestigator Jun 16, 2009

    Yee Haw for Ms. Doyle...contact the SBI only when it benefits your image in Johnston County especially since re-election is coming up...keep feeding that secret club!

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