PennDOT sued to end license suspensions for minor drug violations.
It looks like the laws concerning drug violation license suspension will be getting a much closer look in the near future. You can read the complete lawsuit here.
Two Philadelphia men have sued Pennsylvania’s governor and Transportation Department officials to challenge a state law that suspends driver’s licenses for even minor drug convictions. The lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in Philadelphia seeks to stop the state from suspending licenses for drug offenses that are unrelated to traffic safety.
This is happening at the same time there is legislation being considered to eliminate license suspensions for minor drug violations and other non-safety related license suspensions. The article does mention Gov. Wolf is open to considering this pending legislation if it gets to his desk. The real issue is getting our government to consider and vote for this change. These type of proposed changes do not happen quickly in our current political climate.
Major reason for start of Suspension Snowball
I’ve talked at length about the Suspension Snowball – and this quote nailed this issue. It really is a shame to use these suspensions to keep a person oppressed and unable to recover and become a productive member of society. These barriers for recovering residents cause a great relapse rate and deepens the effects of the Suspension Snowball.
“License suspension for former drug offenders creates a vicious cycle: a conviction automatically results in license suspension, which creates barriers to employment and probation compliance, which puts individuals at risk of incarceration and/or continued entanglement with the criminal justice system,” the lawsuit said.
It is important to note the lawsuit seeks class-action status. So if you are a loved one is suffering a suspension because of a drug charge…even if it is old…reach out and get involved to let the state know how many are impacted by this horrible policy.
No Limited Work License Option
To make this matter worse for those trying to recover – the current law specifically denies access to the Limited Work License or OLL. The OLL allows a limited type license to drive for work, school, and medical reasons during very restricted hours. A driver must apply for this limited license and must make additional proof they maintain valid insurance and registration for vehicles they wish to operate. This restricted license would be a wonderful option for those trying to recover…even with the enhanced restrictions they could maintain some mobility for a smoother recovery.
The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, says some 150,000 Pennsylvanians have temporarily lost their licenses because of drug convictions since 2011. The plaintiffs believe thousands of Pennsylvanians currently have such suspensions, some for convictions for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Read more about the referenced article here – https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/pennsylvania/articles/2018-01-11/penndot-sued-for-suspending-licenses-after-drug-convictions
As always if you are feeling the effects of the Suspension Snowball – contact us to get help to get out from behind this oppressive force.