New Driver Fines Face Possible Challenge

A civil liberties organization has written to leaders of the General Assembly telling them to amend a new law that imposes steep so-called "abusive driver" fees or face a legal challenge on the validity of the law.

Rutherford Institute President John Whitehead says in the letter that the fees for such infractions as drunken driving and speeding are discriminatory and "a misguided way of pursuing a policy of road improvement, as well as being legally questionable."

The abusive driver measures impose civil fees for infractions. The penalties are called fees rather than fines so that the proceeds can be used to pay for road jobs.

In Whitehead's mind, the fees are exorbitant and ripe for legal challenge because they can only be imposed on Virginia drivers. That point is one Governor Tim Kaine has said has also brought a lot of criticism to him. He says it may need to be looked at.


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