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Act 95 regarding drivers' licenses now in effect

April 24, 2019 News Extra

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Suspension not automatic for certain violations

Those facing drug-related or other nontraffic violations in Pennsylvania will no longer have their drivers' licenses automatically revoked.

Act 95, which was signed into law in October by Gov. Tom Wolf, is now in effect, according to the governor's office.

The act amends a federal law put into place during the 1990s when the “war on drugs” sought to significantly reduce drug-related crimes.

For years, the federal government threatened states with reduced federal highway funding if they refused to automatically suspend the licenses of those convicted of nontraffic drug crimes.

A news release from Wolf's office said more than 20,000 Pennsylvania drivers' licenses were suspended each year for non-driving offenses.

Jason Beckwith of Action in Recovery, a county program in which those striving for sobriety participate in community service projects, said Act 95 makes sense.

He said those facing drug-related convictions must be able to drive to their jobs to pay their fines and support themselves and their families as they work to improve their lives.

“It just adds more stress,” Beckwith said of revoking the license of a struggling addict. “All it's doing is pushing them closer to using their coping mechanism, which was using the drug in the first place.”

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Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs is a Butler County native who has been with the Butler and Cranberry Eagle newspapers since June 2000. Grubbs has covered the Mars School District and Middlesex Township for over 20 years with the Eagle and her former employer, the Cranberry Journal. She also covers Adams Township, Evans City and Mars in addition to events and incidents throughout Southwestern Butler County as assigned. Grubbs has taken the lead at the Cranberry Eagle in reporting on shale gas development, which has been a hotly debated topic in the recent past, both locally and nationally. A 1979 graduate of Butler Senior High School and a 1994 graduate of Geneva College, Grubbs has won a Golden Quill and four Keystone state awards, plus an award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Grubbs enjoys following the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers, volunteers with the Connoquenessing Creek Cleanup each summer, and loves spending time outdoors and bird watching at her Penn Township home. Grubbs is the daughter of James R. Davis Sr., of Center Township, and the late Maxine Davis. She has two grown children, Jacqueline and Thomas.