In Virginia, a class action case is heating up as the Department of Justice has decided to enter the fight. The gist of the case is that in Virginia, if a driver fails to pay court costs or fines, they may have their driver's license suspended without consideration of whether the failure to pay was intentional or a result of poverty. To date, nearly 1 million Virginia drivers have had their licenses suspended as a result of unpaid court costs and fines. The lawsuit alleges that the law unfairly punishes the poor.
Although suspending someone's driving privileges seems to be a rather minor punishment in the grand scheme of things, it can actually have disastrous effects. Ironically, the law makes it more difficult to get to work to pay the fines that resulted in the license suspension in the first place. As the DOJ explains, this sort of punishment can create an inescapable cycle of poverty.