The National Driver Register (NDR) is an electronic database used to keep repeat DUI offenders whose licenses are suspended from obtaining licenses in other states. However, the NDR is not perfect and it did not work in the case of Robert Scheller, a 57 year old man with at least fourteen (14) DUI arrests. His most recent arrest occurred in Marshfield, Massachusetts.

The NDR system was designed and implemented to prevent this from happening. However, it seems that Scheller’s information was not properly listed in the NDR. Some may blame the Registry for giving this repeat offender a license. However, the Registry always checks the NDR prior to issuing a driver’s license. It is highly likely that Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles did everything that it could reasonably be expected to do and the prior DUI convictions, which would have disqualified Scheller from being issued a Massachusetts license were no discovered. These were out of state convictions which would not appear in the Registry’s computerized database. Instead, he should have been listed in the NDR as someone who was ineligible for a license. Because he was likely listed as eligible in the NDR, the Registry issued him a license.

Motor Vehicle Departments and Registries across the country process thousands of transactions and every once in a while, something is bound to “slip through the cracks.” In Scheller’s case, the Registry likely applied the out of state convictions to his Massachusetts record and revoked him for life under Melanie’s Law, which provides for lifetime license revocations, with no opportunity for hardship license consideration, for those with 5 or more DUI convictions . There is an unlimited / lifetime lookback period and out of state offenses count just as those committed in Massachusetts when calculating suspensions based on prior drunk driving convictions.