The state Department of Motor Vehicles is making more information available to prosecutors about the history of drivers who have been ticketed for driving infractions.
Prosecutors will now be able to see what original charges were brought against drivers over the past 10 years if they entailed a point-bearing violation, a drug- or alcohol-related offense or if the charges included aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said Monday.
Prosecutors previously had access only to the records of motorists’ driving-related convictions. But Cuomo said that with so many charged motor vehicle violations reduced to lesser infractions, prosecutors are often not aware of motorist’s dangerous driving patterns as they prepare to dispose of more recent tickets.
“By giving prosecutors a more complete story of a person’s driving history, they can make informed decisions and help ensure that potentially dangerous drivers no longer fall through the cracks,” Cuomo said in a statement.
According to the governor’s office, 129,628 charges for speeding violations were pleaded down to “parking on pavement” infractions in 2010. Before Monday’s announcement, prosecutors would only have access to the information that a driver was found guilty of the parking-related infraction, not the original speeding-related charge.
Access to this information is restricted to district attorneys, paralegals and investigators.
Instances where tickets were dismissed because of the driver’s youthful offender status will be exempted from the more complete driver records.