Bill passes to loosen license suspensions for 1st time marijuana convictions

(AP Photo/Molly Riley)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — If signed by the governor, several bills may make it less likely for Virginians to lose their driver’s licenses for unpaid fines and minor drug offenses.

The GA passed legislation Friday that would allow those convicted of a first-time marijuana offense to avoid an automatic driver’s license suspension of six months.

The legislature also passed a bill that would make it easier for people with unpaid court debts to enter into a deferred or installment payment plan to avoid having their licenses suspended. The bill sets a down payment limit at $100. The bills now head to the governor.

Advocates have long pushed for reforms on driver’s license suspensions, saying Virginia’s current rules disproportionately hurt the poor.

Friday was the second-to-last day of the 2017 legislative session, as lawmakers are expected to adjourn on Saturday.