Cook County Traffic Court Get Access To National Driving Data

Cook County judges who rule on Chicago and suburban traffic violations will soon have access to the driving records of defendants from across the nation according to the Chicago Tribune.

According to the story, county criminal prosecutors have had access to national databases in order to give judges the information on a defendant to impose a proper sentence.

But up until now, this type of access to national data on driver records was never available. Judges and prosecutors only view county traffic violations.

The Tribune says without access to national traffic violation information, it was difficult for judges to follow the law restricting the number of court supervisions the court could dole out.

That made it more difficult to comply with a state law limiting a special type of probation called court supervision to no more than two per year per driver, officials said. That law was passed after a Naperville family’s son was killed in 2004 by a chronic speeder.

After two supervisions for speeding, a driver should receive a conviction for a third speeding offense in the same year. Licenses can be suspended for three speeding convictions in a year.

The Tribune reported in 2010 that nearly 8,000 illegal court supervisions were handed out by Cook County judges between 2007 and 2009. In one case, a driver received nine illegal supervisions over a two-year period.

Those illegal supervisions represented only about 1 percent of the total number of cases, but officials have said they wanted to close the gaps.

Here’s the Tribune’s full story, “Cook County traffic cases to get closer scrutiny.”

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