Indigent drivers and North Carolina drivers’ licenses in Federal court

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.  — A federal court judge will hear motions in a lawsuit over a North Carolina law that mandates the revocation of drivers’ licenses for unpaid traffic tickets, even if the driver can’t afford to pay.

Advocacy groups sued in May, seeking to declare the law unconstitutional. A hearing will be held Wednesday in Winston-Salem on motions for a preliminary injunction and class certification.

The judge also will consider a motion by the defendant, the commissioner of the Division of Motor Vehicles, for a judgment in his favor.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups sued on behalf of indigent residents facing license revocation or whose licenses have been revoked.

They’re asking that a judge declare the law unconstitutional, saying it violates due process rights under the 14th Amendment.

Editors noteI don’t really agree with this one, in the cases where it involves actually driving offenses. Just because I’m broke doesn’t mean I get to speed, drive drunk, etc… and then not pay the fine? What I wish that someone would sue over is, suspending your driver’s license for non-payment of fines, court costs, etc… that have nothing to do with driving. I had a real bogus arrest, the charges were dropped but I still got hit with court costs. Was pissed off and didn’t pay them and then had my D.L. suspended for not paying the court costs. The charges were involving a property dispute, nothing at all to do with driving.

That’s the sort of government extortion I wish the ACLU would sue against. 

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