Car Thieves Could Automatically Lose Driver's License
George Runner pursuing legislation that would do just that.
Legislation authored by Sen. George Runner that would require the courts to automatically suspend drivers’ licenses of convicted car thieves today passed the Senate Public Safety Committee.
“Car theft is a growing problem in California,” Runner said. “As a matter of fact, FBI statistics show that California has the distinction of leaving all the other heavily populated states in the dust when it comes to vehicle theft – and that is a problem we must change.” (See enclosed chart).
Senate Bill 1751 requires that those convicted of vehicle grand theft would also lose driving privileges for up to one year for a first offense, with the exception of driving to work. Currently, California’s law gives the courts discretion in suspending licenses of convicted car thieves while many other states already have automatic license revocation laws on the books, including Florida, Colorado, Washington and Virginia. Other states take it a step further with laws that automatically suspend licenses of those convicted of stealing gasoline and auto parts.
“The goal of this law is to make would-be car thieves think twice before committing their crimes,” Runner said. “It also serves the community well in that is punishes and inconveniences the criminal without burdening our jail and prison systems.”
SB 1751 passed 4-0 and will be heard next in the Senate Appropriations Committee.