Repeat unlicensed drivers face jail time in Suffolk

People who repeatedly drive without a valid license in Suffolk County face jail time, but critics say the law unfairly targets the Hispanic community. The county has sent 39 people to jail for driving

News 12 Staff

Jul 7, 2015, 2:04 AM

Updated 3,239 days ago

Share:

Repeat unlicensed drivers face jail time in Suffolk
People who repeatedly drive without a valid license in Suffolk County face jail time, but critics say the law unfairly targets the Hispanic community.
The county has sent 39 people to jail for driving without a valid license since it set up its Traffic Violations Agency in 2013. County officials say the law is enforced when serious, repeat offenders are caught.
"To get to jail, you have to work very, very hard," says Paul Margiotta, the executive director of the Traffic Violations Agency. "You have to continue to violate the law, ignore the judge's warnings."
Margiotta says jail time has been a deterrent for unlicensed drivers.
However, critics tell Newsday that the policy unfairly targets Hispanic drivers. Long Island's Immigrant Alliance said in a statement that it welcomes an investigation into "the agency's pattern of jailing Latino drivers."
According to Newsday, critics also argue that the policy compounds the county's jail overcrowding problem. It costs $300 a day to keep inmates locked up.


More from News 12
1:46
Pizza Strong: Massive fundraiser supports family of slain NYPD Detective Jonathan Diller

Pizza Strong: Massive fundraiser supports family of slain NYPD Detective Jonathan Diller

1:52
Pleasant Monday kicks off workweek warm up on Long Island

Pleasant Monday kicks off workweek warm up on Long Island

1:55
Northwell Health Walk at Jones Beach raises money to support women and children

Northwell Health Walk at Jones Beach raises money to support women and children

0:29
State police: Crash closes section of Southern State Parkway in West Babylon

State police: Crash closes section of Southern State Parkway in West Babylon

0:15
Superintendent: Swastika found on classroom desk at Harborfields High School

Superintendent: Swastika found on classroom desk at Harborfields High School

Guide: School Vote 2024 budgets and tax informaton

Guide: School Vote 2024 budgets and tax informaton

0:39
Police: Man injured in Wyandanch shooting; suspect at large

Police: Man injured in Wyandanch shooting; suspect at large

1:59
Greenlawn teen arrested, accused of making ‘threat of mass harm’ at Oldfield Middle School

Greenlawn teen arrested, accused of making ‘threat of mass harm’ at Oldfield Middle School

1:45
 Missed swim lessons due to COVID-19 may be contributing to rise in child drownings

Missed swim lessons due to COVID-19 may be contributing to rise in child drownings

0:51
Vet Fest in Farmingdale aims to support, encourage veterans who need help

Vet Fest in Farmingdale aims to support, encourage veterans who need help

0:17
Authorities: George Washington Bridge climber in custody

Authorities: George Washington Bridge climber in custody

0:32
Police: 3 people arrested during State Liquor Authority compliance check at Huntington Station deli

Police: 3 people arrested during State Liquor Authority compliance check at Huntington Station deli

2:28
How did a Nassau County doctor overprescribe highly addictive pain pills, despite strict laws in place?

How did a Nassau County doctor overprescribe highly addictive pain pills, despite strict laws in place?

1:43
CDC urges people to get vaccinated amid resurgence of mpox

CDC urges people to get vaccinated amid resurgence of mpox

1:46
Hit-and-run on South Oyster Bay Rd. in Plainview leaves woman with concussion, 6 staples in head

Hit-and-run on South Oyster Bay Rd. in Plainview leaves woman with concussion, 6 staples in head

0:26
Principal: Student approached by van full of men in ski masks in Selden

Principal: Student approached by van full of men in ski masks in Selden

1:39
Montauk Music Festival rocks the East End

Montauk Music Festival rocks the East End

2:06
Homeowners asked to check home security video after string of Nassau County break-ins

Homeowners asked to check home security video after string of Nassau County break-ins

0:24
Police: Hempstead man exposed, touched himself inappropriately at Roosevelt Field Mall

Police: Hempstead man exposed, touched himself inappropriately at Roosevelt Field Mall

1:53
Toys for Tots make contribution to Promise of Hope Foundation to honor fallen Detective Jonathan Diller

Toys for Tots make contribution to Promise of Hope Foundation to honor fallen Detective Jonathan Diller