It is the purpose of this note to examine pertinent general statutes and case law to determine whether using previous DWI convictions as both elements in habitual impaired driving and towards the defendant's prior record level is truly "contrary to the laws of this state". First, this note will look at the 1997 amendment to the Structured Sentencing Act, and how its effects led to the controversy in Gentry. Next, this note will examine an overview of North Carolina's jurisprudence of the habitual felon statutes and the habitual impaired driving statute in order to provide a look at the attitude of the North Carolina courts towards these statutes. After examining what led up to the controversy in State v. Gentry and the law purportedly governing the situation, this note will review the Court of Appeals decision.
William Thomas Kesler Jr., Ramifications of the 1997 DWI/Felony Prior Record Level Amendment to the Structured Sentencing Act: State of North Carolina v. Tanya Watts Gentry, 22 Campbell L. Rev. 211 (1999).