On May 5, Johnston County reopened its DWI Court specifically to handle the backlog of pending Driving While Impaired cases.
As of January 1, 2015, there were over 1400 Driving While Impaired cases pending in Johnston County. District Attorney Susan Doyle said 250 of the cases had been pending three years or more. 54 cases were more than 5 years old.
To address this problem, Doyle requested Chief District Court Judge Jackie Lee reopen DWI Court. Since the grant funding used to operate the old DWI Court was no longer available, Judge Lee asked for assistance from the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to run a DWI Court in Johnston County. AOC approved the request and authorized funding for Retired Chief District Court Judge Andy Corbett, Jr. to preside over this court one day per week.
“I am pleased that Judge Lee was able to work with AOC to reopen DWI Court in Johnston County,” District Attorney Doyle said. “Since our previous DWI Court ended operation in April 2012, we have continued to see the pending number of Driving While Impaired cases grow. This specialized court gives my staff more of an opportunity to devote more attention to Driving While Impaired cases and work to address the backlog.”
“Being able to resolve Driving While Impaired cases in a more expeditious manner increases public safety and makes our highways safer in Johnston County. Ideally, we should be able to resolve a Driving While Impaired case within the first year after charge. Having this DWI Court allows us to get closer to reaching that goal.”