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Two DWI arrests in one day put a new spin on 'repeat offender'

Late last week on Friday 55-year-old Eleanor Thompson raised the ongoing debate regarding people who have problems with alcohol abuse and are charged with repeat DWI offenses. (Because of the facts of this case, we are assuming that Thompson does have a problem with alcohol abuse. We could be wrong.)

Thompson, who has previously served two years in prison stemming from prior drunk-driving convictions in 2004 and 2006, was arrested twice on Friday for North Carolina DWI.

A magistrate saw her after the first arrest and released her into the custody of her sister, as Meghan Packer reports for WMFY News; Thompson was arrested just hours later for another DWI offense. The first arrest occurred at 3:30 p.m., the second at 9 p.m. Both times, Thompson blew roughly four times the legal limit to drive in the state of North Carolina.

The fact that Thompson was able to function at all points toward long-term alcoholism, in which large amounts of alcohol can be consumed without causing the drinker to pass out; an alcoholic drinker's bodily tolerance is generally greatly increased from normal.

Given that Thompson was arrested for drunk driving twice in one day, does it make sense to lock her in jail and throw away the key, as some people will likely call for? Or does she need intensive treatment for addiction before she causes further damage to herself or others? Or both?

Either way, habitual DUI offenses are not taken lightly in North Carolina. Penalties can range from forfeiture of the car and thousands in fines to prison time.

Sources: WFMY News, "Burlington Woman Charged With DWI Twice In 6 Hours," by Chelsi Zash, 6/13/11

WMFY News, "Burlington Woman Charged Twice With DWI Friday Served Prison Time for DUI In Florida," by Meghan Packer, 6/14/11

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