The new law came after Cleveland 19 reporter Paul Orlousky’s investigation of how drivers license suspensions are handled in Ohio. It effects a lot of people because more than three quarters of a million Ohio drivers have over three convictions for drunken driving. Enough convictions to earn a license suspension and prison sentence.
Until now the suspensions and prison terms were served concurrently meaning often as soon as a driver got out of prison they could get back on the road.
Their suspensions were served while they were locked up.
With the passage of House Bill 300 the suspensions will begin after the prison sentence has been served.
We brought the issue to State Representatives Nathan Manning and Nan Baker who were surprised by what we found.
“Through some of the work that you did that we realized that people were able to get their license back when they were released from prison on
aggravated vehicular homicide offense,” Baker said.
Baker and Manning began a statewide campaign for a change in the law. They began more than a year ago by talking to judges.
“We said, I don’t think most people realize that and I don’t think that they would support that,” added Baker.
Next they went to legislators, many of whom were unaware of the issue and won unanimous support from both houses for House Bill 300 that makes a simple but important change in the law.
According to Representative Baker, “It says very simply that the suspension will begin on the day you are released from prison. You’re not working off your suspension while you’re locked up.”The Governor has already signed the bill. The Speaker of the Ohio House put his signature to it in a ceremonial signing intended to raise awareness so drunk drivers serve their full sentences and suspensions.Download the Cleveland 19 News app.
Copyright 2016 WOIO. All rights reserved.