Miami-Dade County commissioners are looking to put together a team dedicated to reviewing fees and fines imposed by the court linked to suspensions in driver licenses. Dubbed the Driver License Suspension Task Force, the news arrives after the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court Administrator’s Office released numbers showing close to a third of licensed drivers in Miami-Dade County alone had suspended licenses.
According to the Miami Today report, since those who can more easily pay fees always do, poorer communities are disproportionately affected. While those convicted for drunk driving can get hardship permits to travel to and from work, no such provision can benefit individuals who cannot afford penalties, most of whom are not related to reckless driving, which is over 70 percent in Florida.
The Driver License Suspension Task Force, if established, will seek ways to adjust local practices more with states such as Virginia, California, and Wyoming that do not penalize drivers by suspending licenses for non-payment of fines, and others such as Vermont, Georgia, and the District of Columbia that have abolished compulsory suspensions of licenses for non-payment of unrelatable traffic costs. Significant changes will, however, have to arrive from Tallahassee. Statutes in Florida set fine sums and costs for court and collection fees.
This year, bills to reduce license suspensions for nonpayment of fees did not make it in the Legislature.
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