JP's Law to Help People with Autism and Intellectual Disabilitie - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

JP's Law to Help People with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -  A new tool will soon be available in Virginia to help people who have autism or intellectual disabilities enhance their lives.

For Pam Mines, JP's Law is literally her dream come true.

"June 19, 2013. And I woke up that morning and I was like 'I have to call Senator McEachin,'" says Pam Mines, who helped pass JP's Law

Named after her 10-year-old son JP, who has autism, the new law allows people who have an intellectual disability to get a code put on their Virginia driver's license or state ID card.

"My son, he's a wanderer. If something happened and he had that and we're able to teach him to have a wallet and have his id, when law enforcement pulls that out they will see it."

Pam played a major role in helping to get the law passed, including working with congressmen, local advocacy groups and law enforcement.

Sergeant Tim Sutton with the Hanover County Sheriff's Office says these medical indicators will alert officers so they can better understand and handle traffic stops and other situations.

"Across the world there are officers that are having interactions with individuals on the autism spectrum and other special needs and not by the fault of the officer but the situations are going south," he says. "With that indicator, once we walk up and see that and get their information we may need to go back and turn those blue lights off or turn the radios down so we're not over-stimulating that person."

Meanwhile, back at Pam's house, the excitement for the new law is building.

"We plan on being the first ones in line," Pam says.

JP's Law goes into effect July 1.

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