Many states in the U.S. suspend the driver’s licenses of people with safe driving records simply because they are too poor to pay their traffic tickets or court costs.
Such wealth-based schemes not only trap our most vulnerable citizens in a vicious cycle of poverty, but they make no sense. Unable to drive, people often lose their jobs or have a hard time finding employment, making it even more unlikely that they will be able to pay their debts to the state. Furthermore, residents with suspended licenses cannot fulfill daily responsibilities: taking their children to school, caring for elderly family members, or going to the doctor’s office.
Losing a driver’s license is an extraordinary punishment that goes far beyond a fine. It is an attack on a person’s independence, pride, and character. As a nation, we encourage our citizens to be self-sufficient. To take away someone’s ability to drive simply because they are too poor to pay a fine is unfair, unjust, and un-American.
Equal Justice Under Law is on the forefront of the movement to end this discriminatory practice and restore driving rights to thousands of Americans living in poverty. We currently have class action lawsuits pending in Michigan and Montana.
To read about these individual cases, please click on the images below.
To help us protect the rights of the poor, please support our work HERE.