A report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that Georgia could lose millions in federal highway funds due to issues with driver record keeping practices. A state audit has determined that errors and omissions in the records could result not only in public safety issues, but a loss of about $30 million from the federal government. As an Atlanta auto accident lawyer, these records could also be important in the cases we litigate on behalf of our clients.
The report also states that the issues with accuracy in driver records could stem from the failure of some courts to report or to timely report issues such as convictions in cases involving traffic violations, drug or stolen vehicles. This information is supposed to go to the Georgia Department of Driver Services and without accurate reporting there could be dangerous drivers on our roads.
Another area of concern for Georgia to receive full federal funding is that in our state, license suspensions for DUI offenses can be removed from a driver’s record when the charge does not lead to a conviction. Federal law differs in that such license suspension deletions from the record are considered “masking” of the driver’s true records. This discrepancy between state and federal law is supposed to be corrected by 2015 for Georgia to receive all its funding.
As a result of the audit, a concern was also raised that the Georgia Department of Driver Services must put in place policies regarding the manner in which DDS personnel deals with these records. The AJC report on the audit indicates a concern that some data is inaccurate, missing or could be ” ‘vulnerable to unauthorized changes ‘ ” such as deletion of information from the records. The auditors have suggested that state employees activities within the record keeping data be periodically reviewed to ensure it is not being altered.
The DDS has stated that over the past several years many improvements have been made in their record keeping. Undoubtedly, the Georgia courts, their administrators and the DDS will be working on these issues to continue to improve them.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident or by a drunk or distracted driver, please contact me at The Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle, P.C. I will provide a free evaluation and assessment of your situation and help you and your family through the strain and stress of accident recovery.