"Debt-based driver’s license suspensions are a heartless penalty on poverty. Worse - this penalty is nonsensical. Taking away a person’s ability to get to work is an ineffective way for the state to collect money. It’s pretty simple: if you can’t get to work, you can’t pay off debt.
Not only is this law counterproductive, it disproportionately punishes poor people. It creates a separate and more punitive justice system for those who can’t afford to pay their court debt. It traps low-income people into a cycle of poverty and debt - and sometimes incarceration - that is nearly impossible to escape. It’s wrong, and it isn’t aligned with Montana’s values.
Driver’s license suspensions should be imposed for the limited purpose of keeping unsafe drivers off the road. The law on the books simply isn’t benefiting anybody. It’s time to Montana to move forward and repeal this law." SK Rossi, ACLU of Montana Advocacy and Policy Director