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As I See It

Wisconsin working to avoid legal loophole that allowed man who caused fatal crash to drive

Scott Robert Shaw



An Illinois man has been sentenced to 32 years in prison for causing a drunk driving crash that killed three people in Wisconsin. The accident which killed three members of the same family was caused by Timothy Vandervere. But it turns out he shouldn’t have been able to drive legally at the time of the crash, but was because of a legal loophole. Vandervere had prior drunk driving convictions, and his driving privileges were taken away. But the man later renewed his Illinois driver’s license, and when the form asked if his driving privileges had been revoked in another state, Vandervere put down “no.” His license to drive was then legally renewed. There is a system for states to check with other states when someone seeks to renew their driver’s license. It is called the Driver License Compact, and it allows states to share information on drivers with OWI’s and other serious offenses on their record. But that wasn’t used in this case, because, as we have learned, Wisconsin is one of five states that does not belong to that compact. That could change soon. Although many Wisconsin legislators weren’t even aware this compact existed, or that Wisconsin was not a part of it, now they are ready to take action. Legislation is being drafted to include Wisconsin in the compact. It is unfortunate that these three deaths were caused by a man who exploited a legal loophole, but it is good that this loophole may soon be closed.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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