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2The Daily Tar HeelWednesday, October 21, 1987
Commission to study effectiveness of state drunk driving laws
By MATT BIVENS
A clause in N.C. drunk driving laws
may be allowing repeat offenders to
be tried as first-time offenders.
When one person is charged with
two separate Driving While Impaired
offenses, the person must be con
victed of the first offense before being
arrested for the second otherwise,
the person will be charged as a first
time offender in both cases, said Mary
Dombalis, assistant district attorney
for Durham County.
But Joe Hackney, representative to
the N.C. legislature for Orange and
Chatham counties, said he doesnt
consider the clause a loophole.
"What they dont tell you is that
the court can consider 'any other
factor which aggravates the serious
ness of the offense " Hackney said,
quoting from the DWI statute.
Judges can use this catch-all clause
to consider DWI convictions that
occur after a first arrest, he said.
The N.C. Legislature has
appointed a commission to study the
effectiveness of the DWI laws, Hack
ney said, and the commission will
close any loopholes it finds.
"If the DA's bring that (the clause)
to our attention, we will take a look
at it," he said. 44 And if it is a 'loophole,
we will fix it.
Even if prior convictions are not
considered in sentencing, it is impor
tant to remember that offenders are
not getting off without penalty,
"You're still getting punished for
each one (each offense)," he said.
Dombalis said sentences for people
convicted of DWI are divided into
five "levels" of punishment, with level
one being the lightest sentence and
level five the harshest.
Judges weigh the circumstances of
each particular case to determine the
level of punishment, she said.
The level depends on the distinctive
factors of each case, which are broken
up into three groups: grossly aggra
vating, aggravating, and mitigating,
Grossly aggravating factors include
having a record of DWI offenses
within seven years, driving on a
revoked license, or seriously injuring
or killing another person as a result
of drunk driving.
Aggravating factors are less
serious, including an unusually high
blood alcohol content or a prior
conviction for DWI that occurred
seven or more years ago.
Mitigating factors are circumstan
ces in the defendant's favor, such as
an otherwise safe driving record or
only slight intoxication while driving.
Overall, DWI laws are well
enforced in North Carolina, said
Carol Popkin, a research associate at
the Highway Safety Research Center.
About 92 percent of all defendants
whose blood-alcohol content regis
ters .09 percent or above are con
victed of DWI, Popkin said.
A driver with a blood-alcohol
content of .10 percent is considered
intoxicated, but Dombalis said judges
also consider how much the alcohol
impaired the person's ability to drive.
But Paul Alwine, president of
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk
Driving), said the conviction rate of
92 percent is inflated.
He said 10 percent of those with
a blood-alcohol content of .09 percent
or above are actually found not
guilty, 5 percent are given a lighter
sentence than the law calls for, and
2 percent are freed through
When the defendant's blood
alcohol content is .10 or .11 (on or
near the borderline), the charges are
often dismissed or reduced by the
courts, Alwine said, because, of
overcrowded jails and full court
dockets. ; ' -
"WeVe got a lot of kindly liberal
judges (in North Carolina)," he said.
As of Oct. 9, automobile accidents
have killed 1,160 people in 1987,
according to collision reports from
the N.C. Department of Motor
Vehicles. About 50 percent of the
accidents were alcohol-related.
Iranians promise to retaliate
after attack on oil platforms
"Dunke to Feceive fames ffirom tamo sales Rape
From Associated Press reports
MANAMA, Bahrain Iran
will strike back and "make the
U.S. regret" the Navy shelling that
destroyed two oil platforms in the
Persian Gulf, Iranian leaders said
Hashemi Rafsanjani, speaker of
the Iranian Parliament and one of
Iran's most powerful leaders, said
his vow of retaliation was "not a
threat, but a reality."
Prime Minister Hussein Musavi
said "compromise is impossible"
and "we will retaliate" for the U.S.
attack, Iran's official news agency
reported. Musavi was quoted as
saying that "after we deal with our
reprisal blow, we will call it quits."
Military jet slams into hotel
INDIANAPOLIS A military
jet crashed a mile short of an
Indianapolis International Air
port runway Tuesday. At least
nine people died and others were
injured as the plane plowed into
a hotel and exploded in a "fire
ball," authorities said.
Up to 25 people were missing
and nine were confirmed dead in
News in Brief
the accident at the seven-story
Ramada Inn-Airport, which
occurred just after 9 a.m., author
The A-7D Corsair jet was
attempting to make an emergency
landing after an engine flameout,
according to the Federal Aviation
White Patriot refuses to testify
FAYETTEVILLE A former
White Patriot Party member has
been jailed for contempt for
refusing to testify to a federal
grand jury investigating the deaths
of three men at a Shelby adult
bookstore in January, a news
paper said Tuesday.
Hugh Black of the Gastonia
area was sent to jail for six months
on a U.S. District Court contempt
order following a recent meeting
of a grand jury investigating the
case, The Fayetteville Observer
from page 1
By LEE ANN NECESSARY
Duke University, a private institu
tion, will receive loan money from
a bond sale appropriated by the N.C.
General Assembly last summer.
Sen. Marshall Rauch, D-Gaston,
said there is nothing unusual about
a private institution issuing bonds to
help pay for construction projects.
"The bill simply states that from
now on, when a state institution issues
a bond, a portion of the bonds they
issue will be low denomination or
capital appreciation bonds," Rauch
Institutions now issuing bonds are
encouraged by the bill to designate
a percentage of the bonds issued as
capital appreciation bonds.
Capital appreciation bonds allow
people with limited earnings to
purchase bonds at lower denomina
tions which will procure the highest
profits at their 20-year maturity rates.
In issuing such bonds, legislators
intend to encourage parents of limited
means to purchase the bonds for the
education of their children.
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Duke will receive loan money from
the first bond sale to aid in funding
a $44.1 million construction and
Rauch said it is not uncommon for
private institutions to issue bonds.
"It just so happens Duke University
was the first to issue these bond sales,"
Funds from the bond sale will aid
in the construction of an
undergraduate dormitory on Duke's
West Campus and an executive
education center, said J. Peyton
Fuller, Duke University treasurer and
vice president of planning. The
money will also be used to renovate
the old chemistry building, expand
the Bryan Student Center and refi
nance an external debt on recently
The General Assembly has strongly
recommended that private institu
tions designate a percentage of the
bonds issued as capital appreciation
bonds, but Fuller said the institutions
were not required to sell a certain
"There's no requirement (to sell
capital appreciation bonds) if they
won't sell," Fuller said.
The amount of capital appreciation
bonds sold will depend on how
analysts anticipate the market, he
Fuller said the passage of the bond
bill was the result of a concerted effort
by many private institutions in North
Other private schools, including
Elon and Davidson colleges, are
planning to come to the market with
bond sales in the next few months,
the use of a weapon. Second-degree
rape also occurs if the perpetrator
knows that the victim is physically
or mentally incompetent at the time
of the rape and forces sex upon her
According to police, the victim
reported the assault in early Sep
tember soon after the incident
occurred, and made a positive, first
hand identification of Bowers and
Harrison. A careful investigation
followed, leading to the men's arrest.
The time lapse from the reporting
of the incident to the arrest of the
men was due to the careful investi
gating that goes into such a serious
charge, said Chapel Hill police officer
The alleged rape took place in the
evening at 207 W. Cameron Ave., the
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Sigma Phi Epsilon house, Pender
graph said. The victim wasn't injured,
he said, but the details of the incident
will be withheld until the trial is
Pat DeVine, Chapel Hill district
attorney, is prosecuting the case on
behalf of the state and the victim.
Because rape is a criminal offense,
the case is prosecuted on behalf of
the state in addition to the victim.
Both of the men have their own
lawyers, DeVine said.
She said the defendants knew
during the course of the investigation
that they might be charged, although
they were not formally arrested until
Wednesday. Two men are being
charged in the case because, accord
ing to the victim, both men had sex
with her, DeVine said.
A preliminary hearing has been set
for Oct. 28,
The case will then be turned over
to N.C. Superior Court. "They will
definitely go to trial," Pendergraph
said. The trial will probably take
place next year.
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