Law to limit license suspensions for drug charges takes effect


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) –  A Pennsylvania law that ends the practice of suspending driver’s licenses for people convicted of drug offenses and other crimes unrelated to driving is now in effect.

Under Act 95 of 2018, signed by Gov. Tom Wolf in October, driving privileges won’t be taken away for using, possessing or selling controlled substances.

The new law also applies to several crimes involving children, including purchasing tobacco, using a fake ID to buy alcohol, carrying a fake ID, underage drinking, and making terroristic threats against school property.

In a statement Tuesday, Wolf said that having a valid driver’s license often is the key to finding and keeping a job, especially in parts of Pennsylvania where public transportation isn’t readily accessible.

Wolf said Pennsylvania previously suspended about 20,000 driver’s licenses each year for reasons that didn’t include driving offenses.

The governor said the law Act 95 amended was one of many Congress enacted to punish drug crimes in the early 1990s. Congress threatened states with reduced federal highway funding if they didn’t suspend licenses for drug crimes.

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