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Collateral Consequens of a DUI Conviction: The National Driver Register

Massachusetts Registry News

An operating under the influence conviction can carry unforeseen c collateral consequences which can permanently haunt those convicted of DUI. For example, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) allows the U.S. Coast Guard to request and receive information from the National Driver Register regarding the driving records of any applicant, cadet, or member of the U.S. Coast Guard or Coast Guard Reserve. NHTSA also allows the Coast Guard to access the driving record of any member of a uniformed service who is assigned to the Coast Guard.

Likewise, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is granted access to the National Driver Register (NDR) so it can check on pilots’ driving records to see if they have disqualifying DUI alcohol or drug convictions. In October 1982, the Congress enacted the Alcohol Traffic Safety and National Driver Register Act. Pursuant to this legislation, the NDR was implemented to track suspended or revoked licenses, as well as individuals committing serious traffic violations such as operating under the influence.  See 23 U.S.C. 401-409 (1982).

This NDR information is provided because Congress has declared that the licensing of motor carrier drivers and railroad engineers, and certification of airplane pilots involves consideration of drunk and drug-related driving convictions, as recorded by individual States and made available to employers through the National Drivers Register at the Department of Transportation. In addition, records of other drug or alcohol related violations of State or Federal law may be considered as indicators of “fitness for duty” for safety-sensitive transportation positions.

Thus, prospective employers may be able to obtain information regarding DUI convictions by checking the National Driver Register, which is a nationwide clearinghouse of DUI convictions as well as license suspensions and revocation. The NDR’s primary purpose is to keep drivers with suspended licenses from obtaining licenses in other states. However, it can also be used to disqualify applicants for employment in certain transportation positions.

Those arrested for DUI should be aware of the implications of having a DUI conviction record or related license suspension in the NDR database, as it may impact future employment opportunities. Consult with a lawyer who specializes in license reinstatements and DUI defense for more information.

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