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According to the News Observer, there is a new “DWI Squad” operating in Raleigh as a subset of the Raleigh Police Department, comprised of a “squad of officers whose sole purpose is to detect and arrest impaired drivers in the city, particularly downtown.”

The new task force is funded with federal tax dollars, in the form of a federal grant in the amount of $525,270.  The team will consist of four officers and a sergeant, and the grant will provide new vehicles, uniforms, and portable breath testers, in addition to training and other equipment.

According to Lt. Tomczak of Raleigh PD, “The majority of people who are coming from downtown are fine, upstanding citizens, but you have others who don’t understand the dangers of drinking and driving.”

But what you won’t read about in the local news is that you also have hundreds of individuals every year who are prosecuted for DWIs in Raleigh and around Wake County who have a couple of drinks with dinner, appear perfectly sober to any reasonable person, pass their field sobriety tests by any objective standard, but are treated as criminals because they blow a .08 and the DA’s office has no discretion to resolve the cases in a reasonable manner, thereby clogging up the local court system with trials — and then appeals, followed by second trials — in cases that should never see in the inside of a courtroom in the first place.  But when MADD sets the policy agenda, you can hardly expect a sane result.


Raleigh DWI lawyer Ben Hiltzheimer is a criminal defense attorney in Raleigh, North Carolina, who represents individuals charged with DWIs and the full spectrum of misdemeanors and felonies. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation at (919) 899-9405.

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Ben is an experienced trial lawyer who earned his law degree from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He was trained in trial practice at the nation’s preeminent Public Defender agency, the federally funded Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, described by United States Attorney General Eric Holder as “the best public defender office in the country.”

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