Prior to 2019, it was possible to lose your license for a plethora of reasons unrelated to driving. Carrying alcohol while underage? You could lose your license. Did you purchase cigarettes when you were still 17? You could have lost your license, too.

Today, that kind of sentencing has been questioned enough that it led to changes in the law. The changes came in the form of House Bill 163, which passed the House and Senate.

What is House Bill 163?

House Bill 163 repeals the automatic driver’s license suspension that is currently given to those convicted of drug-related offenses and certain nondrug-related offenses. Those offenses include things that disproportionately affect juveniles, such as purchasing tobacco while underage, possessing alcohol, transporting alcohol, carrying false identification and others.

The popular House Bill 163 passed in October 2018, with the side note that it eliminates driver’s license suspensions that are not related to driving infractions. This helps people keep their licenses after nondriving infractions so that they can have a better chance of finding and keeping a job. This, overall, helps them pay fines, restitution and costs associated with the original offense and helps prevent re-offending.

It never made sense to take away someone’s driving privileges when they hadn’t violated traffic laws. These changes are smart because they allow people to learn from their mistakes without risking their licenses, which are often needed to get to and from work or school. Our site has more on how this change in the law helps you if you offend without violating Pennsylvania’s traffic laws.