New law changes driver's license penalties

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- It's something that more than one million Floridians experienced between 2012 and 2013 -- having their driver licenses suspended or revoked.

Lots of them came from non-moving violations and lawmakers set out to change that with a new bill.

A recent state report shows that out of those 1.3 million Florida driver licenses revoked or suspended in a year, 167,000 had nothing to do with driving.

This session the legislature approved a measure changing how licenses can be sanctioned. The bill prevents judges from suspending a license for a first offense of not appearing in court for a worthless check charge. It also reduces the length of a revoked license for drug-related convictions from two years to one year.

Only three lawmakers voted against the measure and some agree with it passing.

"I think it's a good thing now that they've changed it to where you won't be penalized for those things that didn't have anything to do with your driving rights," said Tavin Crawford, a Tallahassee resident.

The bill has not yet reach Governor Rick Scott's desk. If he signs it, it takes effect on July 1, 2014.


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