– Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny/Washington) today applauded Senate passage of House Bill 163
, legislation he sponsored which would remove the driver’s license suspension for non-driving-related drug convictions and six other crimes. In April, the House overwhelming passed the legislation.
“The passage of this bill is critical for people with a license suspension for non-driving offenses to maintain gainful employment, pursue education, keep doctor’s appointments and take care of a family member,” said Saccone. “With a valid driver’s license in their pocket, their job possibilities expand tremendously.”
House Bill 163 would not remove the mandatory license suspensions for crimes that occur while an individual is operating a vehicle, such as driving while under the influence of a controlled substance. This bill would remove the state-imposed driver’s license suspension for the following crimes:
- Non-driving-related state or federal drug convictions.
- Underage purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor, malt or brewed beverages in a licensed facility.
- Purchase of tobacco by a minor.
- Misrepresentation of age to secure liquor, malt or brewed beverages by any person under 21 years of age.
- Underage purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor, malt or brewed beverages.
- Carrying a false identification card.
“Without a driver’s license, these individuals sometimes take the risk of still driving, thereby putting themselves back into the criminal justice system if they get caught,” said Saccone. “This driving privilege shouldn’t be taken away because of a low-level crime that has nothing to do with driving. Let’s give these individuals the best chance at turning their lives around by being active, employed and productive citizens.”
Although it is currently prohibited for a state to not have a license suspension associated with these crimes, a state can pass a resolution notifying the federal government of its intention to do away with this overly harsh penalty.
The bill passed the Senate unanimously. It now heads to the governor for his signature.
Representative Rick Saccone
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)