An 0INK Vanity Plate was the central issue last Thursday before the Indiana Supreme Court. Greenfield police officer Rodney Vawter, represented in court by the American Civil Liberties Union, challenged the decision by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles to revoke his 0INK Vanity Plate after three years of use. Officer Vawter said the 0INK Vanity Plate was a tongue-in-cheek reference to his job, but the BMV said it was offensive.
The Orange County Register is reporting that a former DMV employee last Friday admitted to accepting bribes in return for giving out California driver’s licenses. Jose Alberto Carrillo pleaded guilty to felony counts of altering public documents and computer access and fraud. He was sentenced to three years of formal probation and 40 hours of community service. The charges stem from two bribes Carrillo took in May and June of 2012 in exchange for giving licenses to people who could not legally obtain them. Apparently prosecutors objected to the sentence as inadequate.
The United States Department of Transportation will push driverless cars, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said last week. He is expected to unveil the administration’s autonomous vehicle policy tomorrow in a speech in Silicon Valley. The DOT is expected to expedite the usually glacial federal rulemaking process for this technology and to remove barriers that typically slow innovation. “We want to ensure that industry sees DOT as an agency that is not only working to set the bar for safety in the marketplace but is leading in technologies that can play a role in enhancing safety,” Foxx said. By acknowledging that the feds will push driverless cars, Foxx recognized that their advent is closer than many realize. According to the Washington Post, the arrival of some of this technology is just months away, with General Motors planing to roll out models next year. On the West Coast, California’s DMV is set to finish operational rules for autonomous vehicles later this month.
Child support suspensions of New Jersey driver’s licenses were challenged last Friday by a class action lawsuit filed in the New Jersey Superior Court. The suit challenges the practice of imposing child support suspensions of driver’s licenses on parents behind on support payments, claiming the automatic suspensions are unconstitutional and contrary to the “clearly expressed legislative intent.” “New Jersey is the only state in the country that suspends license in this way”, said David Perry Davis, a Pennington, NJ attorney who filed the class action civil rights matter.
April 21, 2014 Mothers Against Drunk Driving is objecting to an abstinence-based proposal that would let judges order twice-daily breath tests instead of ignition interlock devices for repeat DUI offenders. But the head of the National Sheriffs’ Association says the “24/7 Sobriety” model is a better way of keeping drunken drivers off the road for good. MADD National Director Jan Withers on Friday asked Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, to reject the plan, which was approved by a House committee last week and is known elsewhere as “24/7 Sobriety.” “MADD believes that amendments allowing for twice a day testing or 24/7 sobriety programs are okay, but these programs should never replace the use of ignition interlock for a convicted drunk driver,” Withers wrote. Instead, MADD wants Florida lawmakers to expand the use of the interlock devices, which keep vehicles from starting if a driver is drunk, to first-time offenders whose blood-alcohol content is above .08. Current state law requires the devices for second- and third-time offenders as well as for those with a blood-alcohol content of .15 or greater. In a letter to Weatherford, Withers pointed out that 17,224 Florida residents were convicted in 2012 for driving with suspended licenses that were revoked because of previous DUIs, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
The Detroit Free Press reported this week that Michigan lawmakers are considering the approval of roadside saliva testing to help determine if someone is under the “influence” of pot.