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Van Hollen's Statement Regarding State Assembly Passage of AB 230, Relating to Electronic Access to Photographs


MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen commends the State Assembly for approving legislation that would enable law enforcement officers to have quicker access to drivers' license photos.  Assembly Bill 230 passed by a vote of 91 - 2 and if enacted will allow police officers to have, solely for law enforcement purposes, real-time electronic access to photographic records stored by the Department of Transportation. 


"The proposed change in the law is not so much what law enforcement can obtain and for what purposes," explained Van Hollen, "but how quickly law enforcement can obtain the information.  Allowing officers to have access to photos in an instant, on-the-scene, makes officers safer and makes the public safer."


State law already permits law enforcement access to driver photos through written requests, but the process takes considerable time.  Technology exists to effectuate the policy behind the current law instantaneously.  It is time for the law to permit law enforcement to take full advantage of modern technology for their safety, and for the safety of the public they serve.


"This legislation, authored by Representatives Ann Hraychuck and Kitty Rhoades, and supported by law enforcement statewide, is one of the most important public safety proposals introduced this year," Van Hollen said.  "I wholeheartedly support it."


Earlier this year, Van Hollen submitted testimony to the Assembly Committee on Transportation in support of AB 230. Van Hollen's written testimony to the committee.