Gonzales man arrested for sixth DWI
GONZALES - A man in Gonzales was arrested for his sixth DWI after crashing into a wall.
Police say Willie Evans was driving drunk when he drove into a building last week. The 62-year-old has a long criminal history, with his first DWI arrest dating back to 1978.
"There's six DWI's that he's been arrested for in connection with driving under the influence," said Detective Sergeant Steven Nethken with Gonzales Police.
Despite Evans' extensive record, he has just one conviction and law enforcement says putting them behind bars isn't as easy as you would think. In Louisiana your DWI record is cleared every 10 years, meaning any charge before 2004 can't count against you in court.
The head of the District Attorney Association, E. Pete Adams, says the biggest problem lies in the justice system. He explains technical errors often make it difficult to convict people for subsequent DWI offenses.
"People get outraged," Adams said. "If it's his fourth or subsequent offense why is he driving in the street?"
A new system that would fix that has been in the works for more than 35 years. Adams says the integrated criminal justice information system will connect every agency in the state, making it nearly impossible for any offender to slip through the cracks.
"Do we have a DWI database? The answer is yes," Adams said. "Is it reliable? No. Is it accurate? No. Is it complete? No. Are we getting there? Yes. And unfortunately it's not as easy as snapping your fingers."
He said the system should be fully operational within the next few years.
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