In Vermont, A Driver's License Suspension Can Lead To Bigger Problems

Jan 11, 2019

Getting a speeding ticket is not an uncommon experience. But for a growing number of Vermonters, that ticket can snowball to the loss of a driver's license, which can then mean loss of employment and eviction from their home.

Patrick Lovett has been reporting on license suspensions in Vermont for the Caledonian-Record.

Lovett said Vermont has one of the top six driver’s license suspension rates in the country, citing a Washington Post report from earlier this year. He said southern Vermont and the Northeast Kingdom have the highest rates of license suspensions in the state, with the latter averaging 1 in 10 adult drivers.

And in his reporting for the Caledonian-Record, Lovett described the chain reaction that played out for one person in the Northeast Kingdom following a license suspension.

Listen above to Lovett's conversation with VPR's Mitch Wertlieb. Read Lovett’s Caledonian-Record article here.

The Vermont Legislature has made efforts to reduce the number of license suspensions, but Lovett said it remains a problem. He said diversion programs, which allow drivers to have their license reinstated while they pay into a monthly plan or engage in community service, appear to be effective.

However, Lovett said, awareness about diversion programs is still low. He said Vermonters can contact local authorities to find a diversion office in their area.