Celebrating The 15th Anniversary of Drive-To-Work
This year marks the 15th anniversary of Drive-To-Work! In 2007, we launched our mission with the support and collaboration of friends and donors who shared our belief that having a driver’s license is necessary to having a job. With your support, Drive-To-Work has had an impressive, positive impact on many Virginia drivers. You can review the highlights of our accomplishments below:
- DIRECT CLIENT SERVICES. Drive-To-Work provides legal services to clients to remove the causes of their driver’s license suspension. Since its inception in 2007, Drive-To-Work has assisted 14,000+ inquirers, 9,000+ applicants, 2000+ clients, and restored 775+ driver’s licenses. Even with the impact of COVID-19, our numbers continue to grow!
- DTW DRIVING SCHOOL. We opened DTW Driving School in 2016 to provide driver improvement clinics and other programs required by DMV. Last year we introduced an online 3x Fail course. These services are not only available to DTW clients, but to the public as well. The driving school has assisted almost 900 people comply with their DMV requirements.
- VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS. Through our contract with the Virginia Department of Corrections, we provide “How to Get Your License Back” pre-release seminars for offenders at 17 correctional centers throughout Virginia. We have reached over 3,500 offenders since the program began in 2014.
- COURTS AND HIGHER EDUCATION. Drive-to-Work entered into an agreement last year with Washington and Lee University and the Buena Vista General District Court to create the student-led Blue Ridge Mile program. Working with the Shepherd Program at W&L, Drive-To-Work trains the undergraduate students to understand the complex laws about licensing. These students, all of whom want to be lawyers, receive both academic credit and experience in direct client service. The students go to court, and when the judge determines that a defendant would benefit from assistance in restoring their driving privilege, the judge encourages that individual to seek help from the Blue Ridge Mile Clinic. This is a tremendous resource in the rural area, and, to our knowledge, it is the first program of its kind in the nation.
- LEGISLATION. Since 2008, Drive-To-Work secured the introduction and adoption of 17 bills in the Virginia General Assembly that improved opportunities for individuals to obtain driving privileges. The benefits of these new laws were consistent with public safety and were applicable to everyone, not just Drive-To-Work clients. For instance, when Virginia stopped suspending driver’s licenses in 2019 solely for unpaid fines and costs, 612,374 drivers instantly had their driving privileges restored in Virginia. Drive-To-Work had advocated this change for 10 years. A list of the legislation is enclosed.
A Look Ahead
As we move forward, we are anxious to expand programs:
- Develop re-entry programs for local jails
- Assist our non-English speaking neighbors receive a driver’s privilege card or restore their license
- Replicate the Blue Ridge Mile program at other colleges and universities across the state
- Address issues negatively affecting our clients and all Virginia drivers through legislative and regulatory reforms.