Police: Fed Up With Repeat DWI Offenders

11:04 PM, Aug 14, 2012   |    comments
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Forsyth County, NC --  Police officers are the first ones to respond to the scene of a car wreck and witness the harsh and sometimes fatal effects of drinking and driving. When it comes to habitual offenders, police officers are fed up.

On Monday night, News 2 told you the story of Lance Snyder. Snyder racked up numerous DWI's since 1982 when he was convicted of 2nd degree murder after driving drunk.

READ: Still Behind The Wheel: Habitual Drunk Driver

The former Forsyth County District Attorney, Tom Keith said Lance Snyder is the most unusual habitual drunk driver the state of North Carolina has ever seen.

After he was charged time after time since 1982, Snyder was finally rearrested in 1993 and sentenced to 40 years in prison convicted of being a habitual drunk driver.

He served only 16 years, and most recently was charged with two more DWI's in Guilford County. One was in November 2011, and the last one in July 2012.

After seeing our report, a Greensboro police officer wrote News 2 an e-mail. That officer charged Snyder with his DWI in 2011. He hopes that shedding some light on Snyder's story will encourage prosecutors to disable him from being on the roads.

Although that officer couldn't comment because the case hasn't gone to trial yet, News 2 spoke to other law enforcers about frustration in charging DWI offenders over and over.

Sgt. Steven Parr of the Guilford County Sheriff's Department said, "This person's not going to quit drinking and driving. I'm sure if he continues, we're going to see a repeat of another fatality involving this driver."

We asked Sgt. Parr why he thinks people continue to drink and drive despite their past convictions.

"For some reason, we're still not looking at the problem as being as severe as it is. I believe maybe the leniency of the courts for the first time, they were able to get a limited privilege and continue driving and maybe the punishment just wasn't enough for them to stop their cycle of drinking and driving," said Parr.

News 2 also spoke with Winston-Salem police Corporal Rhoneek Readus. He's part of the Traffic Enforcement Unit. He spent the remainder of his day on Tuesday at the jail following a DWI involved car crash.

Corporal Readus agreed that Lance Snyder is one less offender law enforcers should come in contact with, but when they see repeat offenders, they have to conduct a thorough investigation so the courts can handle it appropriately.

He even told News 2 about seeing the same DWI offender over and over in his 16 year career. He's investigated fatal DWI crashes, admitting repeat offenders are out there and lives can be at risk.

Corporal Readus shared a chilling statistic with News 2. On a Friday or Saturday night, between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am, one in every ten drivers is impaired by .10 or more.

WFMY News 2

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