Conditional Licenses for Offenders Advances to Senate

DOVER – The House passed legislation Thursday adding three areas – school, job training and family emergencies – as acceptable destinations for a drug offender who obtains a conditional driver’s license.

Currently, convicted drug offenders have their driver’s licenses revoked but can obtain conditional licenses if they are not in violation of probation requirements to travel to their job, attend treatment appointments or meet with their probation officer.

House Bill 229, sponsored by Rep. Paul Baumbach, would allow for a conditional license for the purpose of attending school or job training or dealing with “urgent need” family emergencies for drug offenders. If signed into law, the bill would take effect September 30. The bill passed the House unanimously.

“People convicted of drug crimes who are out of prison on probation are trying to get their lives back together,” said Rep. Baumbach, D-Newark. “It is counterproductive to prevent them from using a vehicle for educational purposes like going to school or receiving job training. It’s also reasonable to allow them to respond to family emergencies. The law already allows people with conditional licenses to travel to work or to treatment appointments, so this just adds a couple small situations to that list. This will hopefully help people who are trying to help themselves.”

HB 229 now goes to the Senate for consideration.