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La Crosse judge prefers suspending driver's license over jail time

Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

LA CROSSE, WI (WTAQ) - People in La Crosse who have not paid their fines for city violations are more likely to lose their driver's licenses than to go to jail.

Municipal Judge Dennis Marcou tells the La Crosse Tribune he doesn't like people sitting behind bars for failing to pay city fines. So with rare exceptions, Marcou has stopped issuing arrest warrants in those cases.  

He only issued 37 warrants last year -- way down from 1,075 in 2012.

Marcou said his staff has run into time problems for handling the cases, and it's expensive to house scofflaws. So instead of issuing warrants, the judge is suspending drivers' licenses.  

One La Crosse police official says the practice does not hold people accountable for paying their fines.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)

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