Dear Senators Coons and Wicker,
I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to advise you of our support for S. 4186, the “Driving for Opportunity Act.”
Across the country, millions of people have their driver’s licenses suspended for unpaid fines and fees that have nothing to do with highway or public safety. Yet, many Americans still make the decision to drive with a suspended license. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators found that 75% of those with a suspended license continue to drive. Driving on a suspended license is one of the most common criminal charges across the county. Arresting a person for driving with a suspended license due to unpaid fees is a waste of valuable law enforcement time and resources which has nothing to do with the safety of our roads and communities.
Your legislation would create a grant program for States to reinstate drivers’ licenses that were suspended for unpaid fines and fees. This will incentivize States to reverse local laws that permit this practice. The bill will also require States to create a report for the U.S. Attorney General about programs to reinstate drivers’ licenses. Your legislation will not only help those who are struggling due to having a suspended license, but it will also free law enforcement to focus its resources on protecting our communities.
On behalf of the more than 351,000 members of the Fraternal Order of Police, I am proud to offer our support for this legislation. If I can be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or Executive Director Jim Pasco in my Washington office.