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Courts Can Suspend Drivers' Licenses for Any Non-Traffic Offenses

Authorities in Victoria, a state in Australia, are planning to suspend thousands of drivers' licenses for non-traffic offenses.

A new law went into effect on September 30 that allows the local courts to suspend or cancel the license of any person found guilty of any crime.

"If you're convicted or found guilty of any offense, a court may suspend or cancel and disqualify your license," Sergeant Richard Bowers, of the Victoria Police Prosecution Division, told the Herald Sun.

"The legislation does not govern or put a limiting factor on which cases it applies to," added Sgt. Bowers. "It's any offense, and it's completely open to the magistrate as to whether or not they impose it."

Not surprisingly, many people are not happy with these new police state powers.

"We are very disturbed at the lack of consultation, given this is such a sweeping and draconian measure," said Jane Dixon, president of Liberty Victoria, a civil rights group.

"To deprive someone of their driving license can often also deprive them of their livelihood," claimed Dixon. "We believe, for well-being, there should be a strong foundation between driving and the offending."

Sgt. Bowers said the the law would crack down on drug trafficking, family violence and other crimes.

"We will raise the legislation in circumstances where driving had been part and parcel of the offending," claimed Sgt Bowers. "It may be an offense where the accused used a car to commit the offenses, for example, residential burglaries, using the car to get around."

Earlier this year, the Herald Sun reported that Victoria suspended or canceled 4106 drivers' licenses for people, age 71 or older, after they failed a medical test.

About 84,000 more seniors had new rules placed on their drivers' licenses, such as wearing glasses, distance restrictions and night-time driving bans.

Source: Herald Sun

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