Keeping Debt Collection Out of the Criminal Justice System

(March 21) – Rep. Matt Gray’s bill to improve how the court system treats individuals who fail to pay traffic violations passed the House Judiciary Committee today on a 10-1 vote.

“The criminal justice system is designed to keep us safe, not act as a debt collection agency,” said Rep. Gray, D-Broomfield. “This bill changes driving with a suspended license due to failure to pay a fine from a jailable offense similar to a DUI into a traffic violation—so that the penalty matches the offense. This way, our prosecutors can spend time on serious crimes and Coloradans won’t be jailed simply for being too poor to pay a fine.”

HB17-1162 changes the consequences for driving after a license has been suspended simply because of outstanding fines from being a crime to being a traffic infraction and changes the maximum fine from $500 to $100.

The bill proceeds to the Appropriations Committee.

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