Driver’s license suspensions for drug crimes have a varied history in New York

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2020 | Driver's License Suspension or Revocation

A drug conviction comes with many different possible penalties. If you do not go to jail, you may still be on probation or have to go through a treatment program. For a period, New York would also implement a mandatory driver’s license suspension as a result of any drug conviction.

According to Forbes, the original law suspending driver’s licenses for anyone with a drug conviction had a direct link to the federal law requiring license suspension if a state wanted to keep its federal highway funding. However, the federal government offered an easy way to bypass the loss of funding. However, New York decided to just comply.

The impact

Losing a driver’s license is another barrier that you do not need when you have a drug conviction. It makes things even more difficult for you. It can make it harder to get a job and keep yourself from future criminal convictions. Evidence suggests that it can cause more harm than good, making it tough for you to get back to your normal life and be a productive member of society.

This law also did nothing to make roads safer or reduce drug crimes. It seemed to serve no productive purpose, which is why lawmakers decided to make changes.

Changes make sense

The state decided in 2019 that this law no longer worked. The repeal of the law means that you will not lose your license for a drug conviction if the conviction has nothing to do with driving. Lawmakers cited that the mandatory suspension did not make sense and was not a productive way to address drug convictions.