Appleseedfound Louisiana suspended driver’s licenses more frequently and for a broader range of violations than any other state in the South.
Entergy New Orleans
Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation
Justice & Accountability Center of Louisiana
Louisiana Bar Foundation
Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles
In October 2021, the Louisiana Appleseed Center for Law and Justice published “Louisiana Suspended,”1 a report which examined driver’s license suspension practices in the state. With support from the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation, “Louisiana Suspended” revealed that the overwhelming majority of suspended driver’s licenses in Louisiana were related to non-moving violations. Through data collection, “Louisiana Suspended” identified the statutes that, when violated, result in a suspended driver’s
license for Louisiana residents and then compared these laws to the statutory composition of neighboring Southern states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Appleseed found Louisiana suspended driver’s licenses more frequently and for a broader range of violations than any other state in the South. In particular, Louisiana suspends drivers’ licenses for non-moving violations more than any other Southern state. More than 80% of suspended driver’s licenses in Louisiana are for non- moving violations. Of these, failure to appear in court was the largest contributor to license suspensions, and the most ripe for reform.
Louisiana Appleseed provided key mixed-method data analysis in “Louisiana Suspended.” Appleseed’s qualitative evaluations using illustrative case studies demonstrated how the issue of driver’s license suspensions impacts individuals. Case studies consisted of interviews with directly impacted Louisiana residents. Their experiences with driver’s license suspensions revealed subsequent financial hardships due to newly incurred debts, a new burden of maintaining or finding employment
with a suspended driver’s license, and the financial pressures of license reinstatement. Case studies also included the perspectives of the Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) and clerks of court in dealing with and rectifying issues related to driver’s license suspensions. Their experiences illustrated a cumbersome system in dire need of resources and modern technology.