FAMM Testifies in Favor of Driver’s License Bill

Post Date: September 10, 2013

Barb Dougan, Massachusetts Project Director

Barb Dougan, Massachusetts Project Director

FAMM testified today in support of H.3099/S.1643, An Act relative to motor vehicle license suspensions.  This bill would get rid of the automatic suspension of a drug offender’s driver’s license.  Under current law, the Registry of Motor Vehicles automatically suspends a person’s driver’s license for up to five years upon conviction of a drug offense.  The bill to repeal this law was filed in the Senate by Sen. Harriette Chandler of Worcester and in the House of Representatives by Rep. Elizabeth Malia of Boston.  It was assigned to the Legislature’s Transportation Committee. 

Even though this is not a sentencing bill, FAMM’s members have educated us on the hardships caused by driver’s license suspensions.  So we wanted to make your views known.  You can read FAMM’s testimony here.   

The bill to repeal automatic driver license suspensions is a top priority of our friends at EPOCA – Ex-Prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement – and other allies for reform.  To learn more about the issue, here is their fact sheet.  

You can also send your own comments to the chairs of the Transportation Committee:  Senator Thomas McGee, Thomas.McGee@masenate.gov, and Representative William Straus, William.Straus@mahouse.gov.  It’s especially helpful to describe your family’s experiences with this law.   Here is a sample message:

          Subject line:  Repeal driver’s license suspensions for drug offenses

         Dear Sen. McGee and Rep. Straus:

I am a member of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM).  I support H.3099/S.1643, An Act relative to motor vehicle license suspensions.  It makes no sense to single out drug offenders for more punishment by taking away their driver’s licenses.  This just makes it harder to maintain family ties and find jobs and housing after leaving prison.  Public safety is best served when former prisoners can work or go to school, care for their families and lead law-abiding lives.

[Add your own comment]

[Your name & address]

FAMM will keep you updated on the progress of this bill.  In the meantime, please let us know if you have any questions. 

Barb

Barbara J. Dougan
Massachusetts Project Director
Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM)

Contact FAMM’s Massachusetts Project:

By phone: (617) 543-0878
By email: bdougan@famm.org
By mail: P.O. Box 54, Arlington, MA 02476