A disproportionate share of blacks and Latinos lose their driver’s licenses because of unpaid tickets, study finds

The report, by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, examined U.S. Census Bureau data, records from the California Department of Motor Vehicles and information from 15 police and sheriff's departments in the state.
News Story (California)

Maura Dolan
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
April 11, 2016

Tags: Driver's license suspension, Fines and Fees, Minorities: Racial/Ethnic

Organizations mentioned/involved: Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR), A New Way of Life (Los Angeles), East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) (Berkeley, CA), Western Center on Law & Poverty (WCLP) (CA)


“Individuals who cannot afford to pay an infraction citation are being arrested, jailed and prosecuted, and are losing their licenses and their livelihoods,” the report said. “The communities impacted by these policies are disproportionately communities of color.”

Black drivers were found to be arrested at higher rates than whites for driving with licenses suspended because of unpaid tickets, the report said. The highest suspension rates in 2014 were found in poor neighborhoods with large percentages of black and Latino residents.