For Decade, Philadelphia Courts Failed To Report Drivers’ Drug Offenses


For at least a decade, the Philadelphia courts ignored a state law aimed at curbing dangerous drivers convicted of drug offenses, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Because the courts failed to notify the state of the cases, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation didn’t know to suspend the licenses of tens of thousands of people found to have possessed or dealt illegal drugs. “It kind of fell through the cracks,” said Deborah Daley, chief deputy of the Philadelphia courts’ Office of Judicial Records. “Believe it or not, until you came asking for that information, we weren’t sending them.”

Administrative Judge John Herron, head of the Common Pleas Court’s trial division, said the failure to report the drivers reflected “ineptitude at every level of the system.” He added, “This is a court. We should have complied with the law. The fact that we didn’t is troubling.” There is no way to determine just how many people the court neglected to report over the decade, and how many of those convicted of drug offenses actually hold driver’s licenses. In 2012, at least 11,499 people should have been reported, according to court records. Only four were. Last year, at least 11,246 people should have been reported. And 342 were.

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