Thursday, July 19, 2018

Virginia Driver's License Suspension Post (February 8, 2018)

Most people do not realize there are basically two different types of driver's license suspensions: public safety suspensions, and collection-related suspensions.

Public safety-related suspensions are imposed for egregious driving offenses (DUI, reckless driving, etc.) and are usually time limited. After six months or a year or however long, the suspension expires and the offender can reinstate his or her license.

The other kind of driver's license suspension has nothing do with public safety. If you get a traffic ticket and you don't pay, then your license will be suspended to coerce payment. And the suspension is not time-limited: it remains in effect until you pay.

This may be all well and good for true scofflaws with the means to pay those tickets. But usually when somebody doesn't pay a traffic ticket, it's because they don't have the money. Suspending a poor person's driver's license, which usually makes that person less likely to keep or obtain employment, thus reduces the ability to collect that traffic fine. It offends common sense. And it's through stupid ideas like that is how you get up to an eye-popping 1 million suspended licenses in a state with only 8 million people.

Virginia: stop suspending driver's license for collection-related purposes.

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