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Virginia Easing Punishment For Minor Drug Offenses

Virginia Easing Punishment For Minor Drug Offenses

By Zachary Babin - February 28, 2017

Virginians may be less likely to lose their driver’s licenses for unpaid fines and minor drug offenses under legislation headed to the governor. The General Assembly 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 intended to 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 also sets a $100 down payment limit for payment plans. The legislation is similar to new rules enacted by the Virginia Supreme Court. Both bills passed with broad bipartisan support and now head to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who advocated earlier this year for making driver’s license suspension laws less strict.