Personal Narrative: McArthur Edwards

In 2013, Edwards was stopped by police and ticketed for driving with a broken light over his back license plate. State department of transportation records show that when he didn't pay the $64 fine, his driver's license was suspended for two years. He kept driving and got more tickets.

Best Practices Guide to Reducing Suspended Drivers

This guide by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators discusses how suspending driver’s licenses for non-safety related reasons is ineffective and counter-productive: it diminishes the deterrent effect and perceived legitimacy of license suspension, as well as the efficacy of law enforcement, prosecutors, courts, and motor vehicle agencies.

Personal Narrative: John Doe (DC)

Because Tzedek DC's client did not have private property to park his car on, he was forced to park in different spots around his neighborhood. As a result, he received several parking tickets., which doubled after he was unable to pay. He fell ill in 2012, and was unable to renew his license due to outstanding debt. He feels very strongly that the inability to renew his license has negatively affected his health, both directly and through the stress it has caused.

Driver’s License Suspensions, Impacts and Fairness Study

This report relays findings from a study about the effects of driver’s license suspensions in New Jersey. For years, license suspensions have been imposed on motorists for reasons unrelated to public safety (i.e. to enforce payment of fines and fees), and this research suggests that residents of urban and low-income neighborhoods are more vulnerable to suspension than others.

Bearden v. Georgia

In Bearden v. Georgia, the Supreme Court held that courts may only revoke probation and/or sentence the defendant to imprisonment if the defendant willfully refused to pay.