D.A. stops prosecuting drivers whose licenses were revoked for financial reasons

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Attorney’s Office said it no longer prosecutes cases involving drivers whose license has been revoked due to fines owed.

“These cases take up valuable time and resources in court and do nothing to move the needle on public safety,” said Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich. “We’re trying to help get people out of the revolving door in which they are simply accumulating more and more debt for basically driving while poor.”

However, those drivers can still be arrested by law enforcement officers and will be required to come to court.

“This policy is all about public safety,” said Gen. Weirich. “It does not mean it is open season for driving on a revoked license, because you still can be stopped, arrested or ticketed, and be required to come down to 201 Poplar. Also, prosecutors still will use their discretion, so if someone who owes money also is deemed to be a danger to the community, that driver will be in for a bad day.”

The non-prosecution policy does not apply to those cases in which the license was revoked due to criminal activity.

“Those whose licenses have been revoked for reasons such as drunken driving or other criminal activity will still be prosecuted, but if your driver’s license has been revoked only because you owe fines or child support, the case will be dismissed.”

Since September 1, more than 3,600 cases have been dismissed by prosecutors.

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