Suspending a driver’s license may not be the best punishment

Published 7:00 am Thursday, December 21, 2017

Over the last couple of weeks it’s been mentioned that there are several ways a person’s driver’s license would be suspended.

Some of those violations include failure to pay fines or child support and being arrested for a DUI. While we agree that person’s driving privileges should being taken away for a DUI, the other violations should probably result in some other form of punishment.

Mississippi residents are said to be some of the poorest in the country, which means we need every paycheck we can make.

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So, when Mississippi drivers have to make the choice between paying their bills or paying a traffic violation fine, the bills will most likely win out.

Previously, that meant the person’s driver’s license was suspended, resulting in their inability to show up for work, and therefore hinder their ability to settle up with the city or state further.

The good news is that the law that calls for the suspension of a driver’s license when a fine is not paid has been changed.

However, it’s also been mentioned that parents who fall behind on their child support could also see their driver’s license suspended.

One local lawmaker is working to change that law because she feels preventing someone from being able to get to work won’t allow them to catch up on their payments.

Suspending someone’s driver’s license as a form of punishment for not paying fines or child support makes sense when there are alternative methods to get from place to place, such as public transportation.

At least then, the individual still has a means to makes money, and eventually pay their fines or back child support.

But here in Pearl River County, like most other areas of Mississippi, public transportation is essentially non-existent.

There should be some sort of consequence for not paying a fine or child support, but that punishment should not restrict that person’s ability to show up for work when their options for transportation are limited.