Drivers No Longer Arrested for Expired Tags

WI Web Staff Report | 10/18/2011, 5:12 p.m.

WASHINGTON -- The D.C. Council recently passed legislation that prohibits police officers from arresting drivers for expired license plates.

A bill submitted by Mayor Vincent Gray that sailed through approval this week, now eliminates criminal penalties for expired tags. However, violators will face civil fines.

The matter garnered the Council's attention just over a week ago, after members were apprised of complaints from motorists. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, also contacted Gray about validity of the arrests.

While Council Chairman Kwame Brown said drivers shouldn't have to worry about being jailed over failure to renew their vehicle registration, Councilmember Phil Mendelson said the practice is out of step with other jurisdictions and doesn't neccesarily contribute to good law enforcement.