Under previous law, drivers had to pay the entirety of their traffic fines or risk the suspension of their driver’s license. This system, in Rhode Island and nationwide, can trap individuals in a cycle of poverty as they struggle to pay their fines and get to work without the ability to legally drive. This legislation addresses this serious problem by providing an “ability-to-pay” hearing to authorize payment plans or a reduction in the fines owed before a driver’s license suspension is imposed as punishment. The ACLU testified in strong support of the bill. These bills passed both the House and the Senate and were signed by the Governor.
Driver's License Fines Reduction (H 6254, S 78)
Representative Grace Diaz and Senator Frank Lombardi