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General Assembly Approves Relief From The Endless Loop Of License Revocation

The General Assembly ratified the North Carolina Driver’s License Restoration Act last week and submitted it to the Governor. Once the act becomes law, it will relieve defendants convicted of certain types of driving while license revoked of the mandatory additional license revocation that has historically followed such convictions. Proponents for a change in the law argued that people convicted of driving while license revoked under current law drove during the revocation period out of necessity and then became locked in an unending cycle of license revocation.

The cycle developed this way: A person was convicted of an offense requiring revocation of the person’s license. The person drove during the initial revocation period, sometimes because he or she had no other way to travel to and from work. The person was stopped by a law enforcement officer and charged with driving while revoked. Upon conviction, the person’s license was automatically revoked for an additional year. During that additional year, the person again was convicted of driving while license revoked. This time, the additional revocation period was two years. The person’s third conviction for driving while license revoked led to a permanent license revocation. H 529 ends that cycle for some defendants.

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