Marijuana offenses; driver's license forfeiture, etc. (SB784)

Introduced By

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) with support from co-patrons Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria), Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston), and Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Moneta)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Driver's license; marijuana possession. Revises the existing provision that a person loses his driver's license for six months when convicted of or placed on deferred disposition for a drug offense to provide that the provision does not apply to deferred disposition of simple possession of marijuana. The exception applies only to adults; juveniles will still be subject to license suspension. The provisions of the bill are contingent upon written assurance from the U.S. Department of Transportation that Virginia will not lose any federal funds as a result of implementation of the bill. Amends § 18.2-251, § 18.2-259.1, § 46.2-390.1, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »

Status

07/18/2016: Awaiting a Vote in the Courts of Justice Committee

History

DateAction
07/18/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17100117D
07/18/2016Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/11/2017Impact statement from DPB (SB784)
01/23/2017Stricken at the request of Patron in Courts of Justice (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: SB1091.

Comments

ACLU-VA Criminal Justice, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU-VA supports this bill. Virginia needs to put the brakes on automatically suspending a person’s license for crimes unrelated to driving. License suspension should be an enforcement tool against bad drivers, not for minor, unrelated crimes such as simple drug possession. Recent national reports puts Virginia first in the nation with over 38,000 annual license suspensions for minor, unrelated drug crimes. This record number of suspensions strains limited police resources, wastes tax-payer dollars, and makes our roads less safe. The majority of states have opted out of the archaic “tough on crime” federal mandate and have not lost highway funding. Federal law allows for a simple process to opt out of automatically suspending licenses for drug offenses and it is time for Virginia to join the 38 states that have already done so. ACLU of Virginia supports legislation that would repeal automatic license suspensions for minor, unrelated crimes.