Saturday, March 1, 2003
NEWTON FALLS -- While DUI cases declined, the total number of cases handled in Newton Falls Municipal Court in 2002 increased from the previous year.
Municipal Judge Thomas L. Old recently released the annual report of court activity.
The court handled 8,754 cases last year, up from 8,480 in 2001. Despite the increase, DUI cases handled last year totaled 219, as opposed to 284 in 2001, 268 in 2000, 292 in 1999, 313 in 1998, and 347 in 1997.
"A cursory review of the recent cases suggests that a much greater percentage of those arrested for DUI are now repeat offenders than has traditionally been the case," Old wrote in his summary. "The general public seems far more aware and cautious about drinking and driving than ever before."
The court handles cases and arrests from Newton Falls, Lordstown, state patrol, the Trumbull County Sheriff's Department and surrounding townships.
In addition to an increased caseload, court officials also saw an increase in revenue. The court took in $1,369,469 in 2002 from court costs and fines assessed. In 2001, the total was $1,276,735. Revenue comes from costs and fines assessed in criminal and traffic cases, probation fees, parking ticket fines and other sources.
In 2002, court costs assessed to all traffic and criminal cases were $60, no matter what police agency filed the charges. The revenue numbers could increase next year, since court costs rose to $65 as of Jan. 1.