21 January 2006

Drive without a License- Go to Jail?

Legislation proposed by a Maryland state delegate would add jail time as a possible punishment for driving without a license. According to the delegate, unlicensed drivers are a public safety hazard. Under current law, offenders are fined $315. The bill would punish first offenders with 90 days in jail and multiple offenders with up to a year.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's just what this country needs. More people in jail.

Pleader said...

We've got laws like this in South Australia. Over the past year I have had a couple clients sentenced to imprisonment for the offence (sentence was suspended in both matters). If I'd had a 'hanging magistrate', I'm certain they would have done the time. The initial reluctance of magistracy to impose prison for the offence (revenue raising attack on already disadvantaged) has vanished almost entirely as they have grown used to it.

Curtis P said...

I had clients that were repeat offenders of the "No DL" law that ultimatley did spend upwards of 90 days in jail. This was after being caught 4-6 times driving without a license. The police got so tired of pulling over one client that they just mailed the ticket to him when they saw him driving!

None of these people were really hazards on the road, but the main issue is the fact that without the DL, they usually can't get insurance or an insurance carrier will deny coverage if the vehicle is driven by an unlicensed driver, usually leaving your own under-insured motorist coverage to pay, which in turn just causes everyone to pay.

I don't have a big problem with this, what I do have a problem with is the fact that a DL can get suspended for a lot nowdays, and if you don't pay all the fees and costs to get it back, you don't go to work, don't eat, etc. etc. There needs to be a way for people to be able to have a license while they make a sincere effort to make payments towards these obligations. That would remove a large portion of the "unlicensed driver" problem, leaving just the deadbeats and illegal immigrants for the most part.