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Court Overturns Drunk-Driving Expungements

Correction: This story was revised to reflect that the BMV does not set its own policies.

The court of appeals found that an Indiana trial court had wrongly sided with an Indiana man who was previously convicted of an OWI in The Matter of Expungement of J.S.

State and federal law require the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to report drunken-driving convictions to a national commercial driver’s license database.

In his ruling the judge wrote that Indiana could lose federal highway funding if it didn’t comply with federal laws.

“Given the substantial statutorily proscribed potential negative economic implications, it would be illogical and absurd to find that the General Assembly intended to create a law that would put Indiana at risk of losing over $32 million in federal aid or having its CDL program de-certified,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote.

The Indiana Court of Appeals’ unanimous decision instructs the lower court to allow the BMV to comply with existing federal and state laws requiring BMV to disclose the OWI convictions.

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