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Audit takes NC courts to task over possible DWI fraud

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State auditor Beth Wood released the findings on Monday. State auditor Beth Wood released the findings on Monday.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A state audit released Sept. 23 points fingers at North Carolina courts, saying a lack of accountability could be letting drunk drivers back on the road.

The 15-page audit of N.C.'s Administrative Offices of the Courts, or AOC, found in recent years, at least 30 DWI cases in Johnston County were fraudulently dismissed.  That's potentially 30 drunk drivers off the hook. 

The state audit says it's the something the AOC could have caught if had they asked some questions about Johnston County's unusually high DWI dismissal rate.

A total of 46 percent of DWI cases in Johnston County were dismissed in 2006, the audit says.  That state average is 23 percent.  The audit cautions fraudulent dismissals could be happening all over the state.

That audit also takes the AOC to task for a lack of transparency.  The General Assembly passed a law nearly seven years ago, mandating the AOC make individual judge records on DWI cases more easily available to the public.  That has yet to happen.

For its part, the AOC blames budget cuts over the last few years and a "limited audit staff." But the AOC told WNCN, "We already have begun working to implement changes and to address the recommendations in the audit."

Derick Waller

Derick is a reporter for WNCN covering crime, education, politics and just about everything in between. He has a knack for adapting to any story and consistently delivers information quickly across multiple platforms. More>>

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