Editorial: Tribes should share driving records with Montana

Newspaper calls on tribes to share driving records with the state of Montana:
Recent efforts to crack down on impaired driving have properly focused on holding repeat offenders accountable. New state laws have provided courts with the best evidence to determine guilt or innocence and new tools to identify those at high risk for recidivism to get them into effective addiction treatment.

However, recent Associated Press reports have exposed a serious gap in efforts to hold repeat offenders accountable. Only two of Montana’s seven tribal governments share DUI conviction records with state authorities. This means that although DUI convictions in Wyoming or North Dakota can be considered in charging a repeat offender with a Montana felony, offenses on most Montana reservations won’t count.

Both state and tribal courts should have access to an offender’s full driving record in making charging and sentencing decisions. Such sharing would strengthen joint efforts to promote public safety while respecting the sovereignty of tribal governments and the responsibility of state government.

Get the Story:
Gazette opinion: State, tribes must work together to curb repeat DUI (The Billings Gazette 6/17)

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