Letters to the Editor

Guest view: Secretary of state says all counties have access to everyone’s driving records

I am writing in response to an article that appeared in your newspaper on Sunday, Nov. 1, titled “Driver in crash that killed roller derby mom had at least 40 prior tickets.” I wanted to respond to comments attributed to the Madison County State’s Attorney, in which he claimed his office’s computer system does not have the capacity to see court supervisions granted outside of Madison County.

I want to reassure your readers that every county in the state has a Direct Inquiry computer system within their state’s attorney’s office to look up and review a driving record. Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office has had access to this system for more than 15 years. As a result, any county can access and print complete driving records, which would include all traffic tickets that were reported in any of the 102 counties statewide. In other words, all counties are linked.

In 2000, I initiated a law that established the court supervision database, which further allowed all 102 counties to obtain access on court supervision, regardless of the county in which it was granted. This was part of my efforts to ensure judges, state’s attorneys and court personnel have access to a person’s complete driving history.

I have instructed my court liaison staff to schedule a meeting with the Madison County State’s Attorney and his staff to answer any questions they have about the Direct Inquiry computer system. This is an important tool that better ensures dangerous drivers are kept off of our roads, and it is one that must be used consistently.

Before closing, I want to share my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Samantha Miller. A mother of three young children, and a military veteran, Miller can never be replaced. Her death is a tragedy that we must never forget. In her honor, we must redouble our efforts to get and keep bad drivers off the road.