Local News

Fayetteville man charged with DWI 12 times

Posted November 2, 2010

— A Fayetteville man has been charged more than a dozen times with driving while impaired in the past 26 years.

In January, Robert Jay Isenberg, 54, was arrested for DWI for the 12th time. The arrest happened in Cumberland County – a place where five of his previous DWI cases were dismissed, overturned or he was found not guilty.

Isenberg has also had DWI charges in Wake, New Hanover and Brunswick counties.

In addition to DWIs, Isenberg has also been charged nearly a dozen times for driving with a revoked license, most recently in April, three months after his latest DWI, when he was stopped for speeding.

On Tuesday, WRAL News confronted him about his record.

“I’d rather not comment. I don’t know what this is all about,” Isenberg said.

Isenberg said he is no longer driving.

“It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when he’s going to kill someone,” said Lisa Vogel, a member of the Sandhills chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Robert Jay Isenberg Man charged with DWI 12 times

Vogel, whose 21-year-old son was killed by a drunk driver, was at the Cumberland County courthouse on Tuesday as Isenberg went to court for his 12th DWI. She said her goal was to "put pressure on the judge to do the right thing."

“I think in the past it has been lax judges who did not see this as a threat to the community,” Vogel said. “I think now the situation is that our DWI laws are still not strict enough, and a lot of these repeat offenders know how to play the game. They know what to say and know what to do.”

Isenberg’s record for the last two decades also includes charges of reckless driving, hit and run, and driving with a fictitious license.

“He is a menace to the motoring public and to the pedestrian public as well,” Vogel said.

Isenberg’s case was delayed. His next hearing is set for Dec. 7.

Since his January arrest, Isenberg has been no stranger to Fayetteville police. In August, they arrested him for simple assault and communicating threats.

Isenberg's attorney, Christopher Godwin, did not return WRAL's calls on Tuesday.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • grab-a-gift.com Nov 4, 2010

    boy this guy never dreamed he would be getting his 15 minutes of fame like this.but you best believe one thing he wont get a slap on the wrist this time.he better get a medium to channel johnny Cochran on this one. Mrs. Vogel has got it in for him. i don't know what this guy did to her,but he picked the wrong lady to tick off..

  • simmian72 Nov 3, 2010

    And people in this country are concerned with the legalization of POT!!! are you kidding. People are more concerned with a person with a joint than a guy who is a habitual drunk driver. ridiculous!!

  • Gvegas_Dawg Nov 3, 2010

    Know of a person in Onslow county with 3 convictions and one pending. Still driving - picking up revoked driving tickets along the way. If you can delay your court dates forever why not? Should have the one court delay rule like they have in the civil courts.

  • FromClayton Nov 3, 2010

    dear vogel... i am sorry you lost your son. i thank you for trying to keep my son, and everyone's safe. go get him! make that judge listen!

  • Sherlock Nov 3, 2010

    This is not new for Cumberland, teh LEO's get them off the street and the judges just let them go, could need the votes. And he wants everyone to believe that he's not driving... get real.

  • spb Nov 3, 2010

    Also, ban him from recieving a donor liver.

  • WritNEWlaws Nov 3, 2010

    Remember this is good ole NC and it's OK to drink and drive! Nothing will happen to you! I have watched it in the court system as the judges sit and listen to the poor pathetic excuses and give in every single time! It would take a drunk driver to kill a judges son or daughter and the laws would take a turn.

  • tritonlm6 Nov 3, 2010

    Give him time. He'll kill someone eventually.

  • Mike128 Nov 3, 2010

    Taking away the license doesn't stop these folks from driving. They need to be in jail and/or loose their car on the first offense. If they borrow someone's car and get busted, the car still gets confiscated and sold. That should deter anyone from loaning their cars to these drunken people.

    What some other countries do....

    Penalties for DWI:

    In Japan- you lose license forever
    In Bulgaria- a second conviction results in execution
    In El Salvador - no second chance, execution by firing squad.
    In France - $1000 fine, one year in jail, license revoked for 3 years
    Malaysia- jail. If the driver is married, his wife is also jailed.

    The driver who killed a friends parents had 5 previous DWI CONVICTIONS, and was still driving... My friend would have been killed as well if she had decided to ride with her folks instead of her cousins on that night as they were driving home from a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Instead, she got to see her parents die..

  • davido Nov 3, 2010

    Don't try this at home.