State acts improperly on DWI records
CHARLOTTE — A state audit shows North Carolina has failed to properly release information on cases of those accused of driving while impaired.
A 2006 law requires that court administrators make detailed information about DWI cases available on its website. The new report says the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts has not made much of the information available.
The administrative office said it would take another $25 million to make all the information available. The agency said its budget has been reduced from $45 million in 2011 to $29 million in 2013.
The audit says the agency has failed to provide information on how cases are handled by each county, judge, prosecutor and defense attorney.
"The public's ability to evaluate court performance and determine if state DWI laws have been applied equitably is limited," the audit states.
The audit also says the agency fails to look for unusually high rates of case dismissals.
Former House Speaker Joe Hackney says he thinks the problem can be blamed on state budget cuts.
"I know the funding has been slashed in ways that have been very damaging to the court system," Hackney said. "We should get the courts fully funded again."