Statewide DWI database moving forward
BATON ROUGE - A policy board voted Thursday to move recommendations forward to legislators for a statewide DWI database.
The Integrated Criminal Justice Information System (ICJIS) Policy Board added fingerprinting for all drivers arrested or issued summons for DWI, whether electronically or with ink and paper. Also, DNA will be entered into the database for felony DWI arrests.
Robert Mehrtens of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement says it's a step in the right direction to keep tabs on repeat offenders.
"This is going to get people off the streets who no longer deserve to be driving among us because of their convictions for DWI's," he said.
The database would would track an offenders' arrest to conviction as well. Currently laws are on the books calling for a statewide DWI database, but one does not exist in that fashion.
Louisiana District Attorney Association Director Pete Adams says the Impaired Driving Database would get rolling by the end of the year if legislators give it a green light, but it won't be complete at first.
"We don't have all the small municipal police departments currently reporting, and we don't have all the small municipal courts currently reporting. But absent that we should have a pretty good database of all those who've been arrested for DWI related offenses," he said.
The database would be funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. Mehrtens says the database would cost little to no funding to operate.
Legislative session begins in March. The board says it shouldn't see any opposition.