Ohio Senate Bill 204 finally came into effect on Tuesday, September 13 after being introduced in mid-August.
The new law no longer requires the suspension of a driver’s license on non-driving related drug offenses. Instead, courts are now allowed to use discretion when determining whether or not to suspend a driver’s license, as long as the conviction didn’t involve a vehicle. In addition, courts are now allowed to reinstate a previously suspended license if the conviction didn’t involve a vehicle.
The bill was introduced to the senate by Senator Bill Seitz, a Republican from Cincinnati, who told The Columbus Dispatch that:
“There are hundreds of thousands of people in Ohio with suspended driver’s licenses for drug convictions, and that makes it difficult for them to find gainful employment, and therefore, in my estimation at least, more likely that they would return to a life of drugs as a means of support.”
The bill was later introduced to the house by Representative Dorothy Pelanda, a Republican from Marysville.
Senator Seitz said that he hopes that this new law will help citizens of Ohio keep their licenses and both maintain and obtain employment. At least one judge was happy to have discretion when deciding whether or not to suspend a license. Judge Joy Malek Oldfield from the Akron Municipal Court told The Columbus Dispatch that she would no longer be suspending driver’s licenses on drug-related offenses, as long as the person charged was not driving a vehicle at the time.
Koffel Brininger Nesbitt has handled more than 8,000 cases since we opened our doors, and are happy to see this change in the law that will allow us to provide our clients with the freedoms they deserve. If you are interested in getting in touch with one of our Columbus criminal defense attorneys, give us a call at (614) 675-4845 or fill out our online form to tell us more about your case.