A legislative committee’s considering a bill that would empower the state transportation department to suspend your driver’s license if you drive off without paying for gas. Des Moines democrat Matt McCoy says it costs operators a lot of money every year.McCoy says he’s talked to independent dealers who say they’re losing more all the time, so he wants to add the threat of taking away the license of someone who breaks the law and drives off with a 10-dollar tank of stolen gas. McCoy admits it may not cure the problem, but gives a tool for law-enforcement.He calls it a “hammer for law enforcement” to try and deter theft. McCoy says 25 other states have similar laws to deter gasoline theft. But democrat Jack Holveck of Des Moines says it’s unnecessary. Holveck says there are theft laws that deter this kind of crime, and if they’re not working they should be stiffened instead of adding yet another administrative procedure in these tough budget times. Holveck asks why we’d single out this from all the other crimes of stealing products from retail dealers. The bill now goes to the full senate for debate.
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