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The end of the road may be coming for Michigan's Driver Responsibility fees

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan is edging closer to ending its very unpopular Driver Responsibility fees.

The state fees were created a decade ago to help raise much needed-money for the state budget.

People with driving violations, like drunk driving, have to pay the fees which can climb to a couple thousand dollars.

Joe Haveman is a state representative from Holland. He says the fees are unfair.

“Primarily the problem we have is that many of these people can’t afford to pay them,” says Haveman, “We just believe that this is a form of double jeopardy. That’s what it’s being called by a lot of district judges.”

The fees generate tens of millions of dollars for the state so lawmakers are leery of zeroing out the fees immediately. The bills call for a complete phase-out of the fees by 2018.

The bills are now in the state Senate, where Haveman expects quick passage. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.