Friday, July 14, 2006

Booze Escape

Too many local teens are getting off easy after being caught drinking and driving, Lisa Hammersly Munn and Ted Mellnik of The Charlotte Observer discovered. Their "Mecklenburg Judges Giving Breaks for Underage Drinking" reveals a system that lets Mecklenburg County judges give young offenders what's called "a prayer for judgment continued," or PJC for short, allowing them to escape losing their driver's licenses and higher insurance premiums in return for education and treatment. These PJCs are only supposed to go to drivers with virtually clean records, but Munn and Mellnik revealed that 45 percent of those getting PJCs had prior arrests or convictions. This is a great example of court reporting that looks for patterns behind the daily rush of cases.


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