Focus on DWI drives DA 'to make changes'

When it comes to prosecuting cases of driving while intoxicated, Catawba County's district attorney's office has produced an 86.5 percent conviction rate during the past two years in the county.

For the whole three-county district, James C. Gaither Jr.'s District 25 Attorney's office has secured convictions in 88 percent of the cases it has disposed.

But with 256 DWI dismissals throughout the district and 131 in Catawba County alone, Gaither said he is working to improve those statistics. Those efforts, he said, come in part after The O-N-E put a spotlight on DWI charges earlier this month.

"An intense focus on DWI convictions has driven us to make some changes," he said, adding a district-wide meeting of prosecutors sought to address some procedural changes he hopes will render more convictions. "When we get together and we talk, we talk about what can be improved in district court."

To read more of this story, pick up the weekend print edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.