The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is making the information available for past point-bearing violations, drug or alcohol-related offenses and aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
“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. “These reforms will protect motorists and make this
a safer New York.”
Original tickets are often pleaded down to a lesser charge—such as a parking violation when the original citation was for speeding—when a driver goes to court. That's because the prosecutor or the court is "not aware that the driver has a pattern of dangerous driving behaviors," according to Cuomo's release.
“When Gov. Cuomo asked the DMV to look into how we could make information on past traffic tickets available to prosecutors, we knew that providing such information would have a positive impact on traffic safety,” said Commissioner of Motor Vehicles Barbara J. Fiala. “By making ticket history available, the prosecutors and the courts will have a more accurate record of the violator’s complete driving record.”
paralegals and investigators working under the supervision and control
of the DAs, as well as other prosecutors authorized by a DA’s office, will have access to the information. It will be available only if the "disposition of the original
ticket resulted in a guilty conviction of a lesser charge, was covered
by another ticket or is still pending."
History of tickets that were dismissed, or where youthful offender status was granted, will not be available.
Here are some other specifics, as provided in the press release:
- In 2010, in town, village, city and district courts, 129,628 speeding charges were pled down from a speeding violation to “parking on pavement.”
- In 2011, 112,996 such pleas were accepted.
- Speeding convictions result in anywhere from 3 to 11 points being placed on a license, depending on the miles per hour over the speed limit.
- If a motorist acquires 11 or more points within 18 months, their license may be suspended by the DMV. However, there are no points associated with a parking on the pavement charge.