Southern Poverty Law Center sues to stop suspension of driver’s licenses over unpaid traffic tickets in Alabama

The Southern Poverty Law Center Monday sued to block the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency from suspending driver’s licenses of those who have not paid traffic tickets, saying the practice burdened poorer residents and hurt their ability to make a living.

“People whose licenses are suspended face an unenviable choice,” the lawsuit said. “Drive illegally and risk further punishment, or stay home and forgo the ability to meet the daily needs of themselves and their families.”

A message seeking comment was sent to an ALEA spokeswoman on Monday evening. The SPLC lawsuit estimates that 23,000 Alabamians had licenses suspended for failure to pay.