Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "drunk driving" ...

  • Drunk and Still Driving

    3 train derailments in a row, including one that forced a neighborhood to evacuate has jolted local residents. Fortunately, no one was killed in these accidents, but it's raising some questions.
  • Impact Zones

    We crunched three years worth of drunk driving crash data for southeast Wisconsin to find places that are magnets for drunk driving accidents. We pinpoint the specific stretches of roads where you are most likely to be hit by a drunk driver. Through the personal stories of people hurt by these drunk drivers, we look for the reasons why police in these communities deal with so many drunk drivers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3at4fs5y1Ng
  • Oheka Castle Shooting

    When Gary Melius was shot in the head in a botched assassination attempt on the grounds of the massive castle he calls home, the mysterious event led to a Newsday examination of the politically-connected real estate developer’s many business dealings. Using public records and on- and off-the-record sources, reporters in the weeks to come uncovered a labyrinth of intrigue surrounding one company in particular: Interceptor Ignition Interlocks, which produced devices designed to curtail drunk driving and had won lucrative government contracts. The series of stories immediately following the assassination attempt captured the attention of all of Long Island by revealing complex, meaningful and news-breaking exposés concerning Long Island’s power brokers and public officials.
  • Police turn a blind eye for City Manager

    The ABC Action News I-Team took an in-depth look at issues, circumstances, and policies that led officers to release a Tampa Bay area city manager, who was found passed out behind the wheel of a running car in the middle of the road. The dashcam video and police reports reveal Tom O’Neill could not stand, walk or talk without assistance. Yet the officer closed the case as a medical call. O’Neill was found in the town he once ran which borders the small city he now over sees. The I-team, through multiple public records requests, discovered a series of phone calls and radio dispatches that led O’Neill’s own police chief to leave his jurisdiction and respond to the scene. His actions contributed to Port Richey Police turning a blind eye to a drunk driver whose blood alcohol level was later found to be four times the legal limit.
  • King County DUI suspects often not charged for months

    After a number of high-profile fatal crashes involving alcohol, the Times examined how the court system in King County takes much longer -- months in some cases -- just to charge offenders in drunk driving cases. Analyzing DUI charges throughout the state, we found that the local district court was an outlier in how long it took to file the case after an initial arrest. Allowing so much time between the arrest and the filing of charges can endanger public safety by keeping repeat offenders on the road.
  • Escondido Police Under Fire

    Escondido, California, has a long history of discriminating against its large Latino population. For years the City Council had tried and failed to enact legislation that would make it difficult for Spanish-speaking immigrants, documented or otherwise, to take up residence there. But “Escondido Police Under Fire” uncovers how, in 2004, local legislators along with the Escondido Police Department found an ingenious way to rid the city of undocumented immigrants — and make a profit. In 2004, Congress gave the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds to encourage states to get drunk drivers off the road. Escondido some of these funds and began one of the most rigorous Driving Under the Influence checkpoint programs in the State of California. The taxpayer funds allowed Escondido police to set up sobriety checkpoints several times a month. The stated goal was to catch inebriated drivers and to raise public awareness about the dangers of drunk driving. But Escondido police quickly discovered that they could make money by impounding the vehicles of unlicensed drivers. At the time, in California, if someone was caught driving without a license, their vehicle could be seized and subjected to a 30-day impound. In Escondido, the fees to retrieve the impounded vehicle were exorbitant. Escondido police began systematically asking every driver who came through a sobriety checkpoint to show a driver’s license. Escondido Police, the investigation reveals, soon brokered an agreement with Immigration Customs Enforcement to run background checks on all unlicensed drivers at the sobriety checkpoints to ascertain whether they were legally in the country. If a perfectly sober undocumented immigrant drove up to a sobriety checkpoint and could not produce a driver’s license — even though the checkpoints were being funded to get drunk drivers off the road — the unlicensed driver’s car would be impounded, ICE would run a background check, and the driver would be deported. Quickly, these federally funded sobriety checkpoints had become de facto immigration checkpoints — at an enormous profit to the Escondido police. From 2008 to 2011 the city of Escondido and tow companies with city contracts pulled in $11 million in fees, citations and auctioned vehicles from checkpoints. And hundreds of drivers were subsequently deported.
  • Unreasonable Doubt

    The Globe's team found that when accused drunk drivers waive their right to a jury trial and take their cases before a single judge, they are acquitted four out of five times- an astonishing statewide acquittal rate of 82 percent that is virtually unmatched in the United States. The Globe found that the acquittal rate by judges is 30 percentage points higher than the acquittal rate by juries.
  • "DWI Death Capital"

    KHOU-TV set out to answer a frightening question: Why is Harris County, Texas "the DWI death capital of the country?" Employees of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission revealed "little-known amendments" that offer immunity to bars and bartenders "from civil liability" or "state administrative action" that could result from the state law that prevents over-serving alcohol.
  • RGJ Special Report: DUI in Nevada

    The reporter found that licenses were being granted too soon to DUI offenders whose accidents had caused death or substantial bodily harm. Offenders were not serving their full two years behind bars and instead were allowed to get out on a house arrest program.
  • "Under the Influence"

    Dallas County has the "third-highest rate" of alcohol-related driving deaths. Reporters for the Dallas Morning News revealed that about "40 percent" of those who are sentenced for "intoxication manslaughter" are given probation instead of serving jail time to ensure treatment. The people of Dallas do not always agree.