Michigan’s scorned driver responsibility fees will be phased out as of 2018 as a result of the implementation of new legislation.
Driver responsibility fees were originally enacted in 2004 and range from $100 to $2,000. The chief purpose of the fees was to help fill a budget hole created when Michigan’s economy faltered. The fees helped raise between $99 million to $115 million a year for the state’s general fund.
Under the current law, if a driver has seven (7) or more points on their driving record, they will be required to pay an assessment fee of $100 a year for two (2) years, or $500 to $1000 a year for two (2) years for any drunk driving related offense they are convicted of. Additionally, convicted drunk drivers are required to pay $1,000 for two years if they cause injury or death while driving. The fees are in addition to the fees associated with court penalties and fines for drunk driving related offenses.
Under the new bill, the assessment of responsibility fees will be reduced to one year and eventually phased out by October 1, 2018.
Sen. Roger Kahn, R-Saginaw Township, said this week during a committee hearing that he didn’t like the bills because of the loss of revenue to the general fund, as well as the morality of taking away the fees for drivers who have killed while driving drunk or under the influence of drugs. But he wasn’t on the floor of the Senate when the vote was taken.
In addition to the passage of this bill, another bill passed unanimously which will allow drivers who were assessed fees on charges of driving without a license or proof of insurance to perform community service in lieu of paying the fee. The House is now considering the passage of the community service bill.
I invite you to visit the “Stop the Drivers Responsibility Fee in Michigan” Facebook Page to review updates regarding the passage of the bill.
If you have been charged with drunk driving in Washtenaw County, contact me for a case consultation. I provide DUI criminal defense representation to Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti residents.