Due to the increase in driver’s license violations in the Greater Cleveland area, The Cleveland Municipal Court instituted the Traffic Intervention Program (TIP) in 1998. Begun as a pilot program, it has now become a pivotal part of the court’s operations because it increases the number of licensed and insured drivers by allowing them an opportunity to restore their driving privileges.
TIP consists of six officers, trained and certified by the State of Ohio with the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS), and linked with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, via Withdrawal Management System (WMS). Before the defendant appears in traffic arraignment court, their driving record is run through LEADS.
The TIP officers provide current license information to the 12 Cleveland Municipal Court judges on a daily basis for all defendants who plea “not guilty” at arraignment. This is done through providing a driver’s history sheet with the most current convictions, suspensions, warrant blocks and warrants obtained through LEADS and the BMV System.
The TIP officer determines whether the defendant is eligible or ineligible for TIP based on two guidelines:
Eligible defendants are informed of the optional opportunity of TIP. At that time, they are given a continued court date of up to three months and taken to the TIP Office for a complete interview with one of the TIP officers. They also will be advised of the $50 TIP fee, which must be paid before their next court date.