The Wheels On The Bus: The Statutory Schemes That Turn Traffic Tickets Into Financial Crises, was published in the 2020 National Lawyers Guild Review. The article explores driver’s license suspension schemes and their effects on individuals and communities throughout the United States. These suspensions can be the result of a simple traffic ticket and can cause financial devestation for the recipient. Read the abstract below and check out the full article published in the National Lawyers Guild Review.
Forty-three states have, or previously had, some version of a driver’s license suspension program. These programs are shown to have disastrous financial effects on the lives of those who cannot afford the fines inherent in them. Challenges to such license suspension schemes have been brought throughout the United States but have been largely unsuccessful. Where relief ultimately may be found is in state legislatures or city governments. When those bodies discover that, although these programs are in fact valid and constitutional, many of them have such detrimental and long-term impacts on so many citizens, they ultimately result in more harm than good. This realization has led many states to experiment with changes to, or repeals of, their driver’s license suspension programs with varying success. However, many states still rely on the fines levied by these programs and there is a legitimate argument that the programs are imposed to keep dangerous drivers off the street. Ultimately, this is an issue that arose from legislation and, despite finding its way into the court system, must be solved with legislation.
My article has also been featured on Richard Peltz-Steele’s law blog, The Savory Tort.