Senate Sends Gillespie Driver’s License Suspension Bill to Governor’s Desk
HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Keith Gillespie (R-Hellam) that would allow Pennsylvania’s courts to suspend the driver’s license of any defendant failing to pay full restitution to victims of driving-related offenses is headed to the desk of Gov. Tom Corbett for his signature into law following unanimous passage by the state Senate.
“Driving-related infractions often result in large sums of money ordered by the court to be paid as part of restitution,” said Gillespie. “This bill becoming law means providing the courts with another tool for making whole victims of these crimes.”
Current law requires a minimum 50 percent of payments made by a defendant to be applied to restitution. There are, however, instances where an outstanding restitution balance remains owed to a crime victim. House Bill 1617 would add restitution to Section 1533 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, which deals with suspension of driving privileges and currently prevents a defendant’s driver’s license from being suspended once court costs and state fines on a driver-related offense have been paid.
“York County Clerk of Courts Don O’Shell is the driving force behind this legislation,” Gillespie added. “Signing this bill into law would mean allowing our courts to more actively pursue defendants owing overdue crime victim restitution. In York County alone, more than $3 million in restitution is owed in driving under the influence and other vehicle code offenses.”
“I’m grateful the General Assembly has moved to amend state law placing victims of driving- related offenses on an equal level as the taxpayer by now authorizing the suspension of criminal defendants’ driver licenses when failing to pay overdue restitution,” O’Shell said. “I look forward to Governor Corbett’s signing House Bill 1617 into law, as it will provide Pennsylvania courts with a critical collection enforcement measure to pursue more than $90 million in driver offense restitution owed statewide. Representative Gillespie deserves the credit for sponsoring and shepherding this legislation through the House and Senate.”
State Representative Keith Gillespie
47th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little