FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Adrienne Wheeler, 504-561-7312; email@example.com
October 22, 2021, NEW ORLEANS, LA -
With operating support from the Louisiana Bar Foundation and the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation, Louisiana Appleseed and partnering pro bono attorneys authored a report on the practice of suspending licenses for non-moving violations.
"Louisiana’s Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) has over 252,000 suspended drivers’ licenses on record as of 2019. Of the 252,000 suspended licenses, nearly 80% of suspensions were related to non-moving violations (201,600)," the report states. "Some driving violations, such as driving under the influence and excessive speeding, represent a legitimate public safety risk and should lead to restrictions to individual’s driving privileges. However, it is less reasonable to revoke driving privileges based on violations wholly unrelated to maintaining the public’s safety."
The report examines Louisiana laws and compares them to similar statutes in 7 other states: Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Of the 79 laws that can suspend a driver for a non-moving violation, Tennessee's laws come close with 56 similar provisions, and South Carolina had the smallest number with 24.
"Louisiana is so often the leader in poverty rates, incarceration, rates--and now, suspensions of drivers' licenses for non-moving violations," said Adrienne Wheeler, Executive Director of Louisiana Appleseed. "With these kinds of statistics, we really need to examine the structure in which these poor outcomes are perpetuated."
The report went on to evaluate 6 topics that had the most potential for decreasing the numbers of drivers on the road with valid licenses. Working with courts, clerks, and advocacy groups, the topics delve into how and why licenses are suspended for such reasons as failure to appear in court, or the inability to pay court costs, taxes, and child support.
Full report available at: https://www.louisianaappleseed.org/post/louisiana-suspended
Louisiana Appleseed is a statewide nonprofit based in New Orleans, Louisiana that focuses on policy-level solutions by recruiting attorneys to provide free services through a research-oriented approach to policy change. Louisiana Appleseed’s mission is rooted in three pillars dedicated to increasing Access to: Justice, Opportunity, and Education.