NC Says NO to DWI Ankle Bracelets

Not sure we understand this…no, we take it back. We’re positive we don’t understand this.  North Carolina prevents state DWI courts from using those ankle bracelets as part of their arsenal of tools to prevent people from continuing to drink and drive.

According to an article in today’s News & Observer, we’re not the only ones confused by this decision:

That decision has puzzled and frustrated some officials, who ask whether opposition to the technology was sparked in part by turf battles and personality conflicts. David Wallace, director of the National Center for DWI Courts, said he’s not aware of any other state that has imposed such restrictions.

“I’m very surprised,” said Wallace, whose organization helps train officials in setting up DWI courts. “…It takes away one more tool that could be used to monitor people … so they’re not out there risking the community’s safety.”  [italics added by blogger]

Drunk driving is a pervasive and continuing problem. It may not be in the newspaper everyday, but the automobile wreck attorneys of HensonFuerst deal with the painful aftermath of drunk-driving crashes every day. Every…single…day.

As far as we’re concerned, anything that has the potential to help keep people from driving drunk should be celebrated, not prohibited. Foes say that the technology of bracelets is not foolproof, to which we say: So what? Bicycle locks aren’t foolproof, either, but does that mean that we give up on locking our bikes when we stop in a public place? Of course not. Any little thing we can do to make it more difficult for a thief to ride away on our property is good.

Personally, I don’t care if the alcohol-detecting ankle bracelets aren’t perfect. If they stop one person from driving drunk and hurting one innocent person, then the technology is fantastic. Every other state has figured this out…why not North Carolina? Coming on the heels of the story of Johnston County illegally dismissing 33 DWI cases (N&O story), it’s beginning to seem as though drunk drivers get better protections than the rest of the residents.

(Want to take this one step further? A conspiracy theory I heard posited one additional link: the state-run ABC alcohol stores.)

What exactly is going on? At HensonFuerst, we will continue our efforts to educate young drivers about safety and responsibility… and we fight for compensation for those innocent drivers injured–sometimes fatally–in wrecks caused by people who drive drunk. We urge North Carolina to allow DWI courts to use alcohol-detection ankle bracelets as another tool to help curb dangerous drivers.

Read the full N&O article here:

Read our auto wreck information page here:

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