ACLU of Texas Comment on Passage of Legislation Ending Driver Responsibility Program

Affiliate: ACLU of Texas
May 8, 2017 3:45 pm

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ACLU of Texas
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AUSTIN — On Saturday, the Texas House of Representatives passed House Bill 2068 (HB2068), a bill that would end the Driver Responsibility Program, which requires Texans convicted of certain traffic offenses to pay an annual surcharge on top of court fines and criminal penalties to maintain their drivers’ licenses. As of 2015, more than 2 million people had lost their drivers’ licenses as a result of unpaid surcharges, and 1.3 million licenses were suspended for lack of payment.

“The Texas House took a major step towards ending the disastrous Driver Responsibility Program,” said Trisha Trigilio, staff attorney of the ACLU of Texas. “Approving House Bill 2068 is the right thing to do for the countless low-income Texans who are caught in an endless maze of fines and license suspensions because of this program. It forces Texans to make an impossible choice between driving with a suspended license and giving up the means to travel to their job and support themselves and their families. That’s not right. We urge the Texas Senate to look carefully at this bill when it arrives in their chamber and to finally end the Driver Responsibility Program.”

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