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Driver Restoration Initiative Information

A message from the DRIVE initiative: The Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office led by DA Jim O’Neil is bringing back the driver’s license restoration program and setting up office through DRIVE (Driver Restoration Initiative and Vocational Extension). Here is some information about this initiative:

MISSION:

  • In Forsyth County, there are 18,000 residents who have had their licenses suspended or revoked. The impact of a suspended driver’s license goes beyond the inability to operate a vehicle. Having a revoked or suspended license can result in limited job opportunities, restricted paths to medical care, utilizing expensive ride share services to get to and from a lower-wage job, depending on others for rides, reduced housing options, and so many other issues. In Forsyth County, there is a disproportionate impact on low-income households regarding suspended or revoked licenses.
  • The inability to pay traffic fees and court costs and the license suspension that results can have dire consequences for drivers and their families. This is particularly true for North Carolinians who are already economically vulnerable and those who live in rural areas without reliable public transportation.
  • Under North Carolina law, a person who fails to appear in court to resolve a traffic ticket or fails to pay traffic or criminal court debt is subjected to an indefinite suspension of his or her driver’s license, regardless or whether it is the person’s first ticket or first time failing to resolve a ticket.
  • A goal of DRIVE is to protect Forsyth County. The restoration of divers’ licenses would allow for less enforcement on driving violations and allows for the reallocation of resources to focus on violent crime.

VISION: 

  • DRIVE is intended to alleviate the difficulty in navigating the legal system by assisting residents of Forsyth County. The collaboration effort from DRIVE will create a bridge between the community and legal system to change how criminal justice is viewed.
  • With a restored driver’s license, many community members will have the freedom to get back to their lives. They can secure car insurance, get themselves to work, access better jobs, transport their children to school, and receive medical care. These changes are in the short-term as the license restoration process is ending. As their licenses are restored, they can contribute to the community-at-large, whether socially or economically.
  • The impact will also be felt by the community as those participants are able to make positive changes that trickle down to everyone else. The community organizations who have advocated for and assisted the program would be able to continue referring participants to the program as well as show how efficient the program is.
  • DRIVE can expand beyond an application process for participants. Another avenue can be mass relief debt remittance, in that several cases can be dismissed in court to alleviate the stress over those impacted. This would allow for a larger impact on the Forsyth County community.

PROGRAM CRITERIA: 

  1. Resident of Forsyth County
  2. Tickets in Forsyth County
  3. Current Timespan: within the past (seven) 7 years
  4. Not a result of DWI or Hit and Run

For more information please contact:

Shianne LeGrand; Assistant District Attorney
DRIVE Program, 31st Prosecutorial District
200 N. Main Street
Winston Salem, NC 27101
Office: (336) 779-6519
Email: Shianne.N.LeGrand@nccourts.org

Macey Wiseman; Legal Assistant
DRIVE Program, 31st Prosecutorial District
200 N. Main Street
Winston Salem, NC 27101
Email: Macey.N.Wiseman@nccourts.org


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