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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Bill Would Suspend Drivers License Of Those Soliciting Prostitutes

Chris Phan
Flickr -

People convicted of paying for sex in Oregon would have their drivers' licenses suspended for six months under a bill being considered by state lawmakers. The suspension would be added to existing penalties for the crime.

Opponents testified to the Oregon House Judiciary Committee Tuesday that the bill would not serve as a deterrent since the crime is not related to driving.

But J.R. Ujifusa of the Multnomah County District Attorney's office said people soliciting prostitutes almost always use a car to get to the scene of the crime.

"We have individuals sometimes coming from as far as Salem up to Portland, or maybe Vancouver, all around coming to Portland, driving their car most of the time, in order to purchase sex, sometimes with a minor,” Ujifusa said.

The measure would also suspend driving privileges of pimps who are convicted in prostitution cases. The bill would allow courts to grant exceptions for "compelling circumstances."