By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter
ABLE (Advocates for Basic Legal Equality) hosted a driver’s license reinstatement clinic at the Frederick Douglass Community Association, Thursday, September 28. The all-day event provided a one stop shop, including free legal aid and report checks, to help over 100 residents reinstate their driver licenses.
Raina Dawson, advocate at ABLE, organized the event enlisting area volunteers and services from a range of offices including the DANA Corporation, Area Courts and the Bureau of Motors Vehicles and others. In total there were 20 volunteer attorneys providing free assistance to applicants. This was ABLE’s third license clinic held at the Doug.
“We bring everyone here so it can be a one stop shop”, said Dawson. “We have volunteer attorneys that navigate each applicant through each station to get the assistance they need.” While many registered online the event also took walk-ins.
“We have a significant issue with license suspensions… it’s a huge issue.”, continued Dawson, “We’re surrounded by people who are driving without licenses and insurance every day. The point of this is to reduce the amount of unlicensed drivers and get as many people safe, happy, working and thriving as humanly as possible.”
Drivers can lose their licenses for a myriad of reasons including warrants, traffic violations and unpaid child support. The organizations present ensured that applicants received full service and support. Volunteers and sponsors for the event included the ProMedica Toledo Community Foundation, The Frederick Douglass Center, Junction Coalition, Vallie Bowman- English and the Toledo Municipal Court Clerks of Courts, Toledo Courts and Clerks of Court, Maumee Courts and Clerks of Court, Sylvania Courts and Clerks of Court , Oregon Courts and Clerks of Court, Job and Family Services, Mann Insurance, Legal Aide of Western Ohio, Fair Housing Center, Area Office on Aging, The Bureau of Motor Vehicles, The Re-entry Coalition, the Toledo Bar Association and the Ohio Justice Bus.
Dawson plans to have another license reinstatement event to serve the community in the near future.