Senator Thomas, under his constitutional right of protest (Art. 4, Sec. 18), protested against the passage of Senate Bill Nos. 794 and 795.
Senator Thomas’ statement is as follows:
I voted “no” on Senate Bill Nos. 794 and 795 not because I oppose sobriety courts. I think they are a wonderful idea, and anytime we can get Michigan citizens on the road to sobriety, I think that is a great idea. What troubled me most about the legislation is that the legislation allows restricted driver’s licenses to individuals who have demonstrated bad behavior and non-sobriety simply because they have enrolled in this program.
I think there are thousands of people across the state of Michigan who have been unable to pay driver responsibility fees, and they have also lost their licenses. They do not have a pathway towards getting a restricted driver’s license because they can go into some program. I think it would have been more appropriate after completion of the program; then you can look at whether or not a person should be eligible to drive.
Simply not allowing poor people who can’t pay the very, very excessive driver responsibility fees the opportunity to not get a restricted driver’s license, and almost rewarding those people who have multiple DUIs an opportunity to get a driver’s license just doesn’t seem to be the right path. It doesn’t seem to be fair. That is why I voted “no.”