Michigan Senate approves bills to help police interact with autism

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A statue of Gov. Austin Blair is seen outside the Statehouse, Tuesday, July 28, 2015, in Lansing, Mich. Work crews are restoring the exterior of the dome's exterior finishes that wasn't completed during the last major restoration completed in 1992. The dome work is expected to last until mid-October and is part of a $6.4 million project that also includes restoration to parts of the building's exterior. All of the work is expected to wrap up sometime in November. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Legislation advancing in Michigan is designed to help police better interact with people with autism or hearing issues.

The state Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to let people elect a “communication impediment designation” when applying for or renewing their driver’s license, vehicle registration or state ID card.

Law enforcement would be notified of the designation when looking up a license or registration in a database during traffic and other stops.

Supporters say the bills would help officers avoid misinterpreting autism-related behaviors that could escalate interactions with law enforcement.

The legislation goes to the House for consideration next.

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