Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 5218

Should the Feds Withhold Grants From States That Don’t Report DUIs to Federal Databases?

Argument in favor

Drunk driving is a serious offense, and states should share drunk or impaired driving arrests nationally in order to ensure that individuals cannot accrue multiple first-time violations, which carry relatively lighter punishments, when they should be accruing second or greater violations with harsher punishments.

burrkitty's Opinion
···
12/31/2018
Drunk drivers endanger everyone around them due to their stupid selfish choices. They are murderers in training. I am all for cracking down on it. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!
Like (72)
Follow
Share
Dawn's Opinion
···
12/31/2018
Drunk driving is a serious offense, and states should share drunk or impaired driving arrests nationally in order to ensure that individuals cannot accrue multiple first-time violations, which carry relatively lighter punishments, when they should be accruing second or greater violations with harsher punishments.
Like (34)
Follow
Share
···
12/31/2018
Any legislation that makes our roads safer should be supported. Drunk driving, and the violence and damage it causes, is a real, verifiable problem in America that needs addressing. Interstate travel makes this an issue that needs to be handled on the federal level.
Like (32)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

The Interstate Driver License Compact and the National Driver Register already prevent people from obtaining driver’s licenses in any state if they have been convicted of multiple DUIs in the past and their license is suspended, cancelled, or revoked.

DEGUp's Opinion
···
12/31/2018
This is not a Federal concern. Focus on things that are uniquely Federal!
Like (55)
Follow
Share
Leon's Opinion
···
12/31/2018
The federal government doesn’t need to be involved. State responsibility.
Like (21)
Follow
Share
BlueInRedState's Opinion
···
12/31/2018
Why are we wasting time on this? More important issues at hand.
Like (8)
Follow
Share

What is House Bill H.R. 5218?

This bill — known as the DUI Reporting Act of 2018 — would require the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) to withhold national priority safety program grant funds from a state that doesn’t appear on the most recent list provided to DOT by the Department of Justice (DOJ) identifying states that are appropriately reporting arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI/DWI arrests) to the relevant federal repository.

An “appropriate federal repository” for DUI/DWI arrests could be determined by the Attorney General to be either the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) or the Next Generation Identification (NGI) system.

Funds would be withheld in the following manner:

  • 25% of the funds that would have otherwise been granted would be withheld from first-time offenders;

  • 50% of the funds that would have otherwise been granted would be withheld from second-time offenders; and

  • 100% of that funds that would have otherwise been granted would be withheld from third-time (or more) offenders.

States subject to withholding would have 90 days to cure their violation, in which case the funds withheld would be restored. If, at the end of the 90-day period, a state doesn’t comply with the reporting requirement for DUI arrests, then funds that would’ve been given to it would be reallocated to other jurisdictions.

By incentivizing states’ reporting of DUI arrests, this bill would harmonize law enforcement reporting of DUI arrests, allowing police officers anywhere immediate access to the latest and most accurate data, including pending cases, at the time of traffic stops. This would eliminate the accrual of multiple first-time DUI offenses in multiple jurisdictions due to inaccurate reporting.

Impact

Safety program grant funds; Department of Transportation; Department of Justice; National Crime Information Center; and Next Generation Identification system

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5218

A CBO cost estimate for this bill is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) introduced this bill to address the loophole in U.S. drunk driving laws that enables repeat DUI offenders to be charged and tried as first-time offenders because of inconsistent reporting:

“This bill will save lives by enacting common-sense, bipartisan reforms to harmonize reporting standards for DUI offenses across the states. A DUI somewhere should be recognized as a DUI anywhere. It should not matter where you are caught driving drunk. If you drive drunk, previous offenses should be recorded and penalties should increase so innocent lives can be saved. The accrual of multiple first-time DUI offenses is unconscionable and must be brought to an end.”

Christopher P. Cavazos, an attorney in Edinburg, Texas, points out that this bill would dramatically escalate the potential consequences for drunk drivers:

“Technology has made the world a smaller place. It has also changed the way people are affected by criminal charges. If this bill becomes law, with a quick search, a person can possibly go from facing a misdemeanor to being charged with a felony. With this bill, a conviction today for a DWI in one state can dramatically alter the punishment range for all future DWIs across the country."

The Law Office of Ivan O.B. Morse, which opposes this bill, points out that it is duplicative with the existing Interstate Driver License Compact and the National Driver Register:

“Most states are members of The Driver License Compact, except for Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin… [T]here is no need for more legislation as it would be duplicative of an existing law. The Interstate Driver License Compact and the National Driver Register prevent people from obtaining drivers licenses in any state if they have been convicted of multiple DUIs in the past and their license is suspended, cancelled, or revoked at the present time… [The Driver License Compact] is a compact to exchange data motorist's home state. If an out-of-state motorist violates the law it is reported to their home state. Each state has a distinct set of standards by which they handle individuals convicted of DUI, and we believe it should remain as such.”

There are 13 cosponsors of this bill, including seven Republicans and six Democrats. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) endorses this bill.


Of Note: Some estimates suggest that approximately a third of all DUI offenses are committed by repeat offenders. Despite this, not all police report DUI arrests to either the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) or the Next Generation Identification (NGI) database. Consequently, there isn’t a centralized list of DUI offenses for states to reference when determining the appropriate punishment for those convicted of driving while intoxicated. As a result, older convictions or charges from other states can be overlooked, leading to lighter punishments or a quick restoration of driving privileges than the law would otherwise allow.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / kali9)

AKA

DUI Reporting Act of 2018

Official Title

To amend title 23, United States Code, with respect to national priority safety programs, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      Highways and Transit
    IntroducedMarch 8th, 2018
    Drunk drivers endanger everyone around them due to their stupid selfish choices. They are murderers in training. I am all for cracking down on it. DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!
    Like (72)
    Follow
    Share
    This is not a Federal concern. Focus on things that are uniquely Federal!
    Like (55)
    Follow
    Share
    Drunk driving is a serious offense, and states should share drunk or impaired driving arrests nationally in order to ensure that individuals cannot accrue multiple first-time violations, which carry relatively lighter punishments, when they should be accruing second or greater violations with harsher punishments.
    Like (34)
    Follow
    Share
    Any legislation that makes our roads safer should be supported. Drunk driving, and the violence and damage it causes, is a real, verifiable problem in America that needs addressing. Interstate travel makes this an issue that needs to be handled on the federal level.
    Like (32)
    Follow
    Share
    The federal government doesn’t need to be involved. State responsibility.
    Like (21)
    Follow
    Share
    Driving is a privilege, not a right. Unfortunately every state has a different amount of DUI convictions that can suspend or revoke a license, and this would be a giant step forward on helping to monitor persistent drunk and drugged drivers. As it stands now: in Colorado, the 4th DUI is an automatic felony where your drivers license can be revoked, but in New Mexico, the 11th DUI can still be charged as a misdemeanor with only a 90 day suspension. Therefore someone who had 11 DUIs in New Mexico can still get a license when they move to Colorado because New Mexico did not permanently revoke their license. This bill makes sense!!
    Like (15)
    Follow
    Share
    For those of you calling this a Democrat bill, please note 6 of the 13 co-sponsors are Republicans. I agree in principal, though I think judges need to hand down significantly stiffer sentences and deferred adjudication should be off the table after the first conviction. I actually think there should be a database like Interpol’s where any conviction of any kind anywhere should be available to law enforcement across the country. Then, there would be only one reporting requirement so reducing man-hours devoted to reporting. I think, too, if the state is reporting to any nationwide database available to law enforcement anywhere there should be no consequence, unless DOJ has another, unannounced and unrelated use for that data. In that case, I’d like to know what the use is. Maybe DOJ should figure out why reporting isn’t happening and help solve that?
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    The DUI Reporting Act of 2018 I’m in agreement with this bill — known as the DUI Reporting Act of 2018 — would require the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) to withhold national priority safety program grant funds from a state that doesn’t appear on the most recent list provided to DOT by the Department of Justice (DOJ) identifying states that are appropriately reporting arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI/DWI arrests) to the relevant federal repository. Drunk driving is a serious offense, and states should share drunk or impaired driving arrests nationally in order to ensure that individuals cannot accrue multiple first-time violations, which carry relatively lighter punishments, when they should be accruing second or greater violations with harsher punishments. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 12*31*18.........
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    Get the fed out of states business.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    This bill to improve DUI reporting seems sensible. I support it.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    In yesteryear, the sheriff would run the criminal out of town. The ruffian would pack his saddle bag or suitcase and move on to the next town. A town where the lawman would no idea of our criminal activity or history. Today, we must have a common database where criminals, including convicted DUI's. Too bad we couldn't use the same system for illegal aliens DUI's who escape convictions in Sanctuary cited of States.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Why are we wasting time on this? More important issues at hand.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Unless those grants are specifically geared toward the reduction of DUI/DWIs then why keep grant monies from them. Grants help in other areas where extra funds are needed. If it’s a state issue why should there be a database federally?
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    The feds should give back the tax revenue they collected from each states taxpayers in proportion to how much was paid. This business of Washington control freaks has to end.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    It’s unfortunate that this is what it takes for local police to report their DUI efforts
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Same should be said for a national gun registration database.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    All DUI’s nationwide need to be available in a national database. There’s no reason why this should be a state issue since people can freely move and drive across state lines.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    While drunk driving is a terrible choice, I don’t trust our police state not to abuse this information. I’m a voter in Ohio’s 12th congressional district and I oppose this bill.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Protects other people and saves lives? Yes.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    These records are public information collected by state and local agencies anyway. Data sharing is low cost and more efficient than handling multiple FOIA requests.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE