Drive Down the Debt – Press Coverage 2016

National and local news media have regularly covered the issues raised by our class action suit. The filing of the lawsuit in July 2016 generated significant media attention as did the subsequent filings from both sides of the case.  We’ve arranged news coverage by press, electronic, and digital media outlets in reverse chronological order below.  

If you are interested in reading news coverage which share the stories of our plaintiffs or others adversely affected by driver’s license suspensions, see this website’s Plaintiffs’ Stories section.  If you are interested in media editorials supporting the position that the plaintiffs have taken in this suit or in the amicus filings from organizations like the Virginia NAACP or the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, please click here to be taken to our Support for the Complaint section.


October to December 2016

December 17     “Lawsuit says DMV’s license suspension policy creates ‘recipe for disaster’” (The Daily Progress)

December 14     “Twelve States Suspended 190,000 Driver’s Licenses Last Year for Drug Offenses” (

December 5      “UVa Law Team to Put Brakes on Driver’s License Suspensions Due to Debt” (UVa Today)

November 27     “Gravely weighs in on suit against DMV” (Martinsville Bulletin)

November 22     “NAACP and U.S. government respond to lawsuit against DMV” (WCAV-TV)

November 16     “DOJ calls state driver’s license suspension law unconstitutional” (The Dinwiddie Monitor)

November 15     “Justice Department weighs in on Virginia DMV class-action suit” (The Daily Progress)

November 14     “5 Things That Would Never Have Happened If Rudy Giuliani Ran The Justice Department” (Huffington Post)

November 14     “DOJ: Virginia driver’s license suspension law is unconstitutional” (WHSV-TV))

November 11     “DOJ: Virginia drivers license suspension law unconstitutional” (The Daily Press)

November 10     “Justice Department: Virginia may be punishing poor by suspending driver’s licenses” (The Washington Post)

October 5         “‘DMV is not responsible’: Va. denies claim it unfairly suspends driver’s licenses” (The Washington Post)

October 5          “Va. denies driver’s license suspensions are unfair” (WTOP Radio)

October 4          “State: Suspending drivers licenses over court fines constitutional” (Daily Press)

October 4          “DMV responds to license-suspension program lawsuit” (WCAV-TV)

October 4          “‘DMV is not responsible’: Va. denies claim it unfairly suspends driver’s licenses” (The Washington Post) 

July to September 2016

September 15   “Omar Epps: Stop Suspending Driver’s Licenses for Unpaid Fees” (Huffington Post)

August 23         “Suspended Licenses Are The New Debtor’s Prison” (

August 11         “Legal Aid Group Calls Suspending Drivers Licenses for Unpaid Fees ‘A Form of Debtors’ Prison’” (

July 21             “Do traffic fines unjustly punish drivers who are too poor to pay them?” (Michigan Radio)

July 21             “75 Percent of All Suspended Drivers in Virginia Are in a Debtor’s Prison Scenario” (Washingtonian)

July 20             “Virginia Class Action Lawsuit Calls Driver’s License Suspensions Unconstitutional” (

July 16             “Punished for Being Poor” (Slate,com)

July 15             “Lawsuit claims Va. drivers unfairly suspended” (WTOP Radio)

July 15             “Is It Unconstitutional to Take Away Someone’s License for Unpaid Fines?” (Law Street Media)

July 15             “What’s Driving Got to Do With It? How the DMV is Conscripted to Do the Dirty Work of the Criminal Justice System?” (

July 14             “Lawsuit: Virginia DMV Unfairly Suspends Licenses When Drivers Can’t Pay Fees” (WTOP-TV)

July 13             “Virginia Suspends Driver’s Licences in ‘Unconstitutional Scheme,’ Class Action says”, (The Washington Post)

July 13             “Virginia DMV Sued For Suspending Licenses Of Those Who Can’t Pay Fees” (

July 11             “Legal Aid Group Challenges Virginia’s Suspension of Driver’s Licenses Over Unpaid Fees” (The Insurance Journal)

July 9               “Low-Income Legal Aid Center Files Lawsuit against Virginia” (WVIR-TV)

July 9              “Legal Aid Justice Center files class action lawsuit against Virginia DMV” (CBS19 – Charlottesville)

July 7               “Suit Aims to End Suspension of Drivers’ Licenses” (WTVFRadio)

July 7              “Lawsuit Targets License System”, (The Daily Progress)

July 6              “Lawsuit seeks to stop suspension of Virginia licenses over unpaid fines” (The Daily Press)

July 6              “Group Files Legal Challenge to Virginia’s Driver’s License Suspensions for the Poor” (Richmond Times-Dispatch) 

January to June 2016

June 1             “Experts Concerned over Court Cost Defaults” (WVIR-TV)

May 31            “Court costs can be crippling for low-income drivers, report says” (The Roanoke Times)

May 31            “Court costs tough for low-income drivers” (The News Leader)

May 31            “Report: Court costs can be crippling for low-income Virginians” (The Daily Press)

March 18          “Justice Department Shines Light on High Price of Petty Court Costs”, (The Washington Post)


October 19      “Virginia’s Kafka-esque Obstacles to a Second Chance”, (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

October 1        “Pro Bono Assistance Sought for Clients Struggling to Pay Court Debt (Virginia Lawyer)


While our offices remain closed to walk-ins, we're still here to help. Contact Us