unnecessarysuspensions tall

august 2012

A look at the problems with non-driving related license suspensions.

The Suspended/Revoked Working Group has compiled a Best Practice document outlining procedures to reduce the number of drivers subject to license suspension.

“The whole thing comes down to one basic recommendation: that jurisdictions stop suspending people’s driving privileges for non-driving reasons,” says Brian Ursino, director of law enforcement for AAMVA and staff liaison to the working group.

Funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the group partnered with Florida State University to compile research from eight states and found that approximately 39 percent of suspended drivers lost driving privileges for non-driving reasons—what the group calls “social nonconformance.” The research also concluded that a person suspended for driving-related reasons is three times more likely to be in a crash than a person suspended for non-driving reasons, and six times more likely than a driver who has never been suspended at all.

So, Ursino says, the law should focus on drivers with traffic-related mishaps because they have proven to be more dangerous. And, he adds, having fewer suspended drivers would increase efficiency. “The justifications are there: [non-driving related suspensions are] tying up officers at roadside, costing DMV administrative time and clogging court dockets,” he says. “The issue has far-reaching effects on the entire criminal justice system.”

For more information, visit aamva.org