A 23 year old woman has been charged with manslaughter after having struck and killed a motorcyclist while drinking and driving on Raleigh I-440.
DUI offender Keira JO Sprouse has been arrested for vehicular homicide
50 year old Thomas John Anstey was on his motorcycle riding westward on the Interstate 440 when he was hit from behind by a woman driving at 115 mph. As per police reports, he died on the spot. The accident was a hit and run as the woman did not stop to find out if the motorcycle rider needed medical attention.
Four hours after the crash 23-year-old Keira Jo Sprouse’s blood alcohol level measured .13, well over the legal limit. She has been charged on several counts which include felony death by vehicle and felony hit and run. Other charges include driving under the influence, without a license and in a car with expired tags and no insurance. Bond was set for $1.1 million.
NC sees a larger number of DUI case dismissals
The DMV reported 366 DUI fatalities in 2013. Out of a total of sixty thousand driving while impaired charges, in FY 2013 and 2014, sixty percent were convicted, but as much as 21 percent of the cases were dismissed by the state prosecutors.
Investigations indicate that Columbus County tops the list in DWI case dismissals followed by counties Lee, Harnett, Cherokee and Pasquotank. As many as 45.5 percent of DUI cases were dismissed by prosecutors in Columbus County, which is more than any other North Carolina county. For the FY2013-14, 72 percent of DUI charges in Columbus County were filed by the North Carolina Highway Patrol. This is the highest of any law enforcement agency in the country.
The DA for three of the counties Brunswick, Bladen and Columbus, Jon Davis says that this rise in case dismissals would be investigated.
Efforts being made to reduce DUI dismissals
In the effort to reduce DUI case dismissals and make prosecutors accountable, every prosecutor is required to fill out the CR-399 Form. According to Raleigh NC DUI attorneys, the prosecutor must fill out such a form, stating the reasons for dismissal of any case related to DWI. One copy of the form is distributed amongst various authorities like the DA and the law enforcement agency that made the charge and while one copy is maintained in the defendant’s file.
Upon analyzing these forms it was found that one prosecutor named Kyle Melvin had a large number of such dismissals. As per Jon David this man was using his own judgment for the dismissals and not that of the court which is the reason for the negative stats.
David explains that the prosecutor after reviewing a case set it aside as dismissed because he thought the judge would do the very same. He was merely saving the court some time. However, it would have been prudent for him to have sent the case before the judge and let him decide. This way the judge would listen to the prosecutor and the defendants DUI attorney and then give a fair judgment.
Of course the prosecutor does not have to rigorously try or pursue a case. Not all cases are the same! We are not robots but humans!