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Law enforcement actions result in thousands of DUI arrests

North Carolina law enforcement officers arrested 3,164 individuals for supposedly driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs from the period of Dec. 13 to Jan. 5. Wake County had the most DWI arrests with Mecklenburg County coming in second.

Officers also issued 116,423 traffic and criminal citations across North Carolina during this same period. While many of the traffic citations concerned speeding related citations, there were also a large number of safety belt issues for which drivers were ticketed. And 4,042 drug charges were issued during this period.

We will have to see what actually becomes of many of these arrests in court. The arrests appear to have been part of an aggressive law enforcement campaign to crack down on drunken driving during the holiday season. However, simply because arrests were made does not mean that all of these individuals will actually be convicted in court.

The public may support crackdowns such as this. We still need to look at the individual circumstances of each case before anyone is forced to pay fines or spend time in jail. It's up to the prosecuting attorneys to prove up these cases. Public pressure cannot be used to determine the outcome of such matters and this is why every defendant is provided the right to have an attorney represent them.

Nobody wants to see an increase in the amount of individuals killed on the roads due to possible drunken driving. However, we do need to make certain that police are not randomly pulling drivers over in hopes that more individuals will be convicted of this offense.

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