PennDOT sued for suspending licenses after drug convictions

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Two men are suing Pennsylvania’s governor and Transportation Department officials to challenge a state law that suspends driver’s licenses for even the most minor drug convictions.

The lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Philadelphia seeks to stop the state from suspending licenses for drug offenses that are unrelated to traffic safety.

The plaintiffs say the suspensions violate constitutional protections and play havoc with the lives of criminal defendants, making it harder for them to stay employed, keep medical appointments or care for family members.

They say some 150,000 Pennsylvanians have temporarily lost their licenses because of drug convictions since 2011.

A spokesman for Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf isn’t commenting on the lawsuit, but notes Wolf supports a pending proposal in the Legislature to overturn the automatic suspension law.

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