Conservative groups, ACLU support driver’s license bill

HELENA (AP) — Groups from both sides of the political spectrum support an effort to repeal a Montana law that requires judges to suspend a person’s driver’s license for nonpayment of fines and court fees.

Republican Rep. Casey Knudsen of Malta is sponsoring the legislation. He said Wednesday the current law makes it difficult for people to get to work so they could pay their fines.

Driving without a license can be punished with jail time.

ACLU of Montana policy director SK Rossi says the law criminalizes poverty and wastes court and law enforcement time. Supporters say courts suspend the driver’s license of about 10,000 Montanans each year for failure to pay fines.

Americans for Prosperity state director David Herbst acknowledged his organization may not always agree with the ACLU, but it supports this criminal justice change.