Opinion: Suspending driver's licenses creates a vicious cycle

In this op-ed for USA TODAY, FFJC Co-Director Joanna Weiss and Right on Crime Policy Director Marc Levin make the case against driver’s license suspensions for offenses unrelated to road safety.

“Suspending a person’s license is one of the most counterproductive ways for the criminal justice system to recoup its costs. Without a license, individuals, like Damian, cannot work to pay off fines and fees, or even get back to court for future hearings. A New Jersey study found that 42% of people with a history of suspension lost their jobs when their licenses were suspended, and many were unable to find another position.

Second, license suspension for conduct other than drunken driving makes us less safe by diverting resources from critical public safety concerns to arresting, prosecuting, adjudicating and sometimes incarcerating defendants for license suspension cases.”

Jonathan Ben-Menachem