Special License Plates Coming to Montana?

Lifesafer Ignition Interlock MontanaMontana House Representative Champ Edmund is sponsoring a Bill that would change current DUI law, and he hopes, improve the safety of Montana’s roads. House Bill No. 276 seeks to revise Montana’s DUI laws by requiring offenders to exchange their current license plates for orange plates that would identify them as a DUI offender.

The orange plates, which would begin with the letters ‘DUI’, would be mandated for five years and cost an extra $100 to the offender.  The plates would be required for anyone convicted of DUI in Montana.

Proponents say the plates serve to help other drivers and law enforcement be aware of a potential high-risk driver on the road. Opponents say the plates do nothing more than humiliate an offender and brand them with a ‘scarlet letter’ and that it is unfair to put the plates on vehicles that are driven by multiple people in a household.  Opponents also say putting the plates on vehicles which are also used for small businesses is excessive since the reputation of the business can be permanently tarnished.

Currently Ohio and Minnesota have special license plate laws and policies in place for those convicted of DUI. Oregon and Iowa in the past had special license plates for DUI offenders, but both programs were discontinued in 1994 and 1995.

If required, do you think the orange license plates would help deter people in Montana from impaired driving?