JEFFERSON — The remainder of this year’s schedule for Jefferson County’s Driver’s License Restoration Clinics is set.
“We’ve held two so far this year, in Watertown and Fort Atkinson, with good turnout,” said the events’ planner, Jefferson County Criminal Justice Collaborating Council/Treatment Court Coordinator Craig Holler.
Dates and locations for the coming clinics are April 20, Watertown Public Library; May 18, Dwight Foster Public Library, Fort Atkinson; June 15, L.D. Fargo Library, Lake Mills; July 20, Watertown Public Library; Aug. 17, Dwight Foster Library, Fort Atkinson; Sept. 21, L.D Fargo Library, Lake Mills; Oct. 19, Watertown Public Library. Nov. 16, Dwight Foster Library, Fort Atkinson; Dec. 21, L.D. Fargo Library, Lake Mills.
“We believe scheduling these so far out will be of benefit to the people we are helping,” Holler said.
The Drivers’ License Restoration Clinics are the latest example of Jefferson County trying to focus on the underlying issues affecting the community, Holler said.
“Helping people obtain a valid license, or forming an action plan they can use to reinstate their license over time, helps the individual, protects the community and reduces the strain on our law enforcement partners and our local court system,” he said.
LIFT Wisconsin and Legal Action WI are partners in the venture.
“They have proven to be great,” Holler said of the two organizations. “Their commitment to assisting those without the means to handle these issues on their own matches Jefferson County’s commitment to solving systemic problems in our community. We are excited to continue this program through 2023.”
“The goal is to have operators of motor vehicles on public roadways who have a valid driver’s license and who follow any restrictions they may have regarding their operating privileges,” said Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Donald Hunter. “Clinics that can assist operators with accomplishing this goal can have a positive impact on public safety.”
Roughly 57% of those arrested for operating while suspended or revocation from January 2018 through May 2021 had the ability to reinstate their licenses at the time of their arrest, Holler said.
Authorities suspended the licenses of 3,000 county residents for non-payment of fees or fines in 2021. They suspended the licenses of more than 1,100 county residents for issues such as failing to complete a course, failing to complete a driver’s safety plan assessment, or insurance cancellation, according to Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles records.
“Many of these individuals are eligible to reinstate their licenses after addressing these issues,” Holler said. “The driver’s license restoration clinics will assist these individuals in overcoming these barriers to obtaining a valid license. Legal assistance will be provided by Legal Action of Wisconsin.”
“The main goal each time I sentence someone is rehabilitation,” said Jefferson County Branch IV Circuit Court Judge Bennett Brantmeier. “The best thing a person charged with operating after revocation can do is get their license. The driver’s license restoration clinic is an important tool to understand what is needed to get the license back. Simply put, more folks with a license on our roadways, makes it safer for everyone.”
“I strongly support this initiative,” said Jefferson County Branch II Circuit Court Judge William Hue. “For a number of reasons, individuals attempting to obtain or re-obtain their drivers licenses may encounter significant financial, legal and practical obstacles associated with that effort. This program offers a valuable resource to help them navigate those obstacles, hopefully resulting in licensing. That benefits all of us.”
To sign up or learn more, call 608-305-4829 or email email@example.com.