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Five of Montana’s American Indian Reservation’s Don’t Report Drunk-Driving Convictions to the State

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Photo courtesy of jimmywayne/Flickr

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Five of Montana’s seven American Indian reservations don’t report drunken-driving convictions to the state.

County prosecutors say the information void poses a safety risk for both repeat offenders and other drivers.

Tribal justice systems have jurisdiction over misdemeanor crimes committed by Native Americans on reservations.

Attorney general spokesman John Barnes says the state can’t force tribal courts to share misdemeanor DUI convictions with the state Motor Vehicle Division.

Barnes says only the Flathead and Fort Peck reservations voluntarily share DUI conviction records. Those that withhold DUI records are the Blackfeet, Crow, Fort Belknap, Northern Cheyenne and Rocky Boy’s reservations.

Glacier County attorney Carolyn Berkram says that means police don’t know how many people with unreported DUIs who may need treatment are sharing the road with other drivers.

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