Driving is a necessity for many people in North Carolina. Losing one’s driving privileges often means that one might struggle to get to work, pick up children from school or bring home groceries. Unfortunately, license suspension is not as uncommon as some might think and is often the result of something that is considered not all that serious — traffic violations.
License suspensions are widespread
In North Carolina, one out of every seven drivers have lost driving privileges at some point. While suspension is sometimes the result of a drunk driving arrest, it is more frequently related to unpaid traffic fines. The state briefly limited this practice in 2020, but has since resumed the practice of automatic suspension for those who take too long to pay their court debts.
Is failure to comply fair?
The practice of suspending a driver’s license for failure to pay — also called failure to comply — is not as effective as it may seem. An FTC suspension is also more punitive than a drunk driving suspension, as a DUI suspension is automatically restored back after 12 months. Additional fees are often stacked on top of FTC suspensions, too. Those who tend to be disproportionately affected by FTC suspensions include:
- Black men and women
- Low income earners
- The unemployed
Drivers who are facing a number of traffic violations and fees on top of a license suspension may feel as if there is no way forward. It does not help that North Carolina state law can be confusing. Those who are worried about regaining their driving privileges and avoiding additional court fees, penalties or even criminal actions may be well advised to reach out for guidance from a knowledgeable attorney.