This article from a Missouri newspaper is a good example of the misinformation promulgated by the media and law enforcement, regarding DUI enforcement. DWI enforcement has blossomed into a $Billion Dollar government program, but this article would suggest that they don't have enough funding to keep track of repeat offenders.
The truth is that our Virginia DMV has an accurate record of all prior offenses unless the person has been found not guilty or had his or her case dismissed by the Court due to an illegal arrest or other defects in the proceedings. If a person has been convicted of 3 DWI's in Virginia, it is not likely that they have a license any more.
With today's technology, the Virginia DMV keeps track of DUI/DWI convictions, even if they have occurred in another state, and even if they occurred before the person came to Virginia.
The truth about this article is that some of the law enforcement agencies aren't organized enough to take advantage of the systems that are already in place. There is already a national database that takes information from about 46 states and keeps track of serious offenses, including DWI. This is a driver's license database-- not a criminal system database like the FBI has. However, not all the states have the same computers so their own databases are not compatible with each other-- even within one state.
Probably just as likely, this is another superficial media report, shilling, or the cops who just want more money for their agencies. If they are letting people drive after 4 DWI's, then they aren't utilizing existing resources -- courts not requiring full record checks, etc. We don't have that here in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Paul McGlone has helped many people charged with DWI or DUI in Fairfax, Virginia and is familiar with how the state tracks drunk driving convictions.