North Carolina recently enacted new legislation that will require DWI defendants to be photographed and fingerprinted. The law stems from an endemic problem with drunk driving suspects giving false names when arrested. Law enforcement authorities throughout the state will have access to the data in an effort to identify repeat offenders.
The state has found numerous instances of drivers charged with misdemeanor DWI providing different names and personal information when arrested. The drunk driving suspects then simply did not show up for their court dates. Previously only those charged with a felony were photographed and fingerprinted.
The identification program puts together photographs and any additional information on DWI suspects who fail to appear in court and provides them to law enforcement agencies. District Attorney Ron Moore said “We have a lot of people on our highways who are not properly licensed and driving drunk, and we have not had the system in place to try to identify them.” He felt the new law will provide a “powerful tool for law enforcement.”
The new North Carolina DWI law will go into effect October 1, 2007.