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Gaps in Georgia Driver Records Puts Safety at Risk

Atlanta’s notorious “Spaghetti Junction” where I-85 meets I-285

Georgia is at risk of losing $30 million in federal highway funds, and erroneous or incomplete information in its driver records could jeopardize public safety, a new state audit shows.

Among the problems is that dozens of courts either don’t report or are slow to report traffic, drug and stolen vehicle convictions to the Department of Driver Services. As a result, dangerous drivers may be able to stay on the roads.

Georgia also allows license suspensions for DUI offenses to be wiped off of driver records, if the charge does not result in a conviction. That is contrary to federal law, which considers deleting such license suspensions as “masking.” A federal law enacted this past summer requires this issue to be resolved by 2015, auditors reported this week.

“At current funding levels, approximately $30 million could be at risk” because of that, the audit says.

Among the audit’s other findings:

• Officials from 28 courts told state auditors they had reportable convictions they had not forwarded to DDS. Many indicated they were unaware of the reporting requirements.

• State law requires courts to report offenses within 10 days of the conviction. About 300,000 of the million convictions processed last year did not meet this requirement. As a result, state driver records are not up-to-date with convictions, points and license suspensions.

Read more: Jeremy Redmon, AJC


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