Local lawmakers hope to cut driver's license suspensions

2 million Floridians have suspended licenses
Posted at 5:09 PM, Jan 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-12 02:18:37-05

A local state senator is co-sponsoring a bill that would hope to cut the number of driver's license suspensions for non-driving related offenses.

According to numbers from the Florida's Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, for fiscal year 2015-2016 -- there were 1,752,396 sanctions incurred for driving and non-driving related offenses. 

State Senator Darryl Rouson of District 19 says tens of thousands of those are for violations outside the car, "such as truancy, graffiti, worthless check, theft, minor drug possession," he said. 

Other violations include not paying child support, court and traffic fees.

Rouson tells ABC Action News that once a license is suspended it becomes a trap of fees and more penalties.

The legislation, Senate Bill 302, would work to reduce the number of suspended licenses for non-driving offenses, especially for those who can't afford to get it reinstated. 

"We want to be able to urge them to do community service and not get your license suspended for non-driving related offenses in the first place," said Rouson. 

However, critics say this will take away money from clerk of court offices. 

"That's a poor way to be funding the clerk's office in the first place, off the backs of fines and fees of working class, middle class people."

If the bill sounds familiar, its because Rouson and Senator Jeff Brandes introduced legislation before, but they ran out of time before the end of the legislative session. 

Here's a link to the 38 page bill.