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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2006
Contact: Doug Dunbar
207-626-8404

Suspended Driver Website Launched to Provide
Additional Tool to Law Enforcement Community

AUGUSTA, MAINE – As part of their ongoing effort to deal with drivers who operate after suspension and those who perpetually violate motor vehicles laws, the Department of the Secretary of State and the Department of Public Safety have created an online service which will enable law enforcement personnel to more quickly and easily obtain lists of suspended drivers in Maine.  Although individual driving records have always been available to law enforcement agencies, this new web-based service will provide enhanced capabilities, utility, speed and convenience.

“Since the service was launched last week, more than 150 public safety officials have used it to generate more than 400 reports of suspended drivers in various geographic areas.  Drivers should be aware, if they weren’t already, that Maine takes this issue seriously,” Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap commented.

This service was created in cooperation with InforME (www.maine.gov/informe/) and is the result of input from local, county and state law enforcement officials.  The electronic lists of suspended drivers are based on Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) data, which will be updated every two weeks.  Lists are tailored to geographic needs, so an officer can generate a report for a specific community or communities.  Individual users can edit their own search criteria.  The service is currently active and available immediately to authorized law enforcement personnel.  Information about the service was distributed to agencies last week.

“Although Maine compares favorably with other states in terms of the number of suspended or unlicensed drivers involved in fatal accidents, more can be done to discourage people from breaking the law by operating after suspension.  This new service will give law enforcement officers another tool to enhance their efforts,” Secretary of State Dunlap added.

The online service replaces a printed list of approximately 100 suspended drivers in Maine who had the largest number of suspensions on their records.  That list was distributed to law enforcement agencies and the judicial branch twice during the past five months.

The federal Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) prohibits public access to personal data on driving records, including names and addresses, without proper identifying information.  Because of this and additional state laws, the new online service is not available to the public.  More information about DPPA, which was enacted following violent crimes in other states in which the victim’s address was obtained using motor vehicle records, is available at www.maine.gov/informe/subscriber/dppa.htm.