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Published on Friday, February 8, 2013

Bill would allow community service to replace fines for traffic infractions

Courts often see individuals who are unable to pay court costs for various reasons. When an infraction is left unpaid, the person’s driver license may be suspended. The Administrative Office of the Courts reports there are over 100,000 persons charged annually with driving while license suspended (DWLS). Many of these cases lead to a DWLS 3 which has been a concern as it backs up court proceedings and overloads prosecutors and law enforcement. Because of this, Rep. Goodman (D-Kirkland) introduced a bill that would allow those individuals to do community service activities in lieu of a monetary fine. AWC is concerned that this is a mandate for our municipal courts. Many courts do not currently have a community restitution program, and developing a program may be costly. Additionally, we do not support a system that may decrease accountability for these violations.

HB 1601 is scheduled for a hearing February 13 at 1:30pm in the House Public Safety Committee.

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