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New Report Details How Drivers’ License Suspensions Can Cost State Economy Billions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT Adrienne Wheeler, 504-910-1965, AWheeler@LouisianaAppleseed.org


December 1, 20203, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - Louisiana Appleseed released "Paying the Cost: A Cost Benefit Analysis Report of 2022’s Act 436.” This report examines the costs borne by Louisiana’s economy after suspending drivers’ licenses for non-moving violations.


“Maintaining a valid driver’s license is vital to a person’s economic stability,” Dr. Ifeyinwa F. Davis, Louisiana Appleseed’s Policy Analyst, writes. “One of the most important economic opportunities – employment – heavily hinges on the ability to obtain and maintain a driver’s license.”


The findings reveal the cost to the state incurred by each suspended license. The lost wages, economic participation, and tax revenue provide the state with a net loss of approximately $80,000 per license suspended. Between 2019 and 2020, more than 172,000 licenses were suspended, only a fraction of which were reinstated in the fiscal year. Under the framework of this report, this resulted in up to[1] $11.16 billion being stripped from the state’s economy.


Louisiana has the highest rate of suspended driver’s licenses in the Gulf South. As uncovered by 2021’s Louisiana Suspended[2] , non-moving violations account for approximately 80% of suspensions, with failure to appear in court making up the bulk of these violations. Act 436 aimed to reduce this burden on the state by extending the grace period for suspensions. While preliminary data has been encouraging, the gravity of the situation supports the dire need for further legislation to address this issue.


With our coalition partners, Louisiana Appleseed will continue monitoring drivers’ license suspensions in the state. We thank the Louisiana Bar Foundation and the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation for their ongoing support.


Additional questions or interview requests can be answered by contacting Ifeyinwa Davis at IDavis@LouisianaAppleseed.org or (504) 596-9024.


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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. Learn more at www.louisianaappleseed.org.

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