It only takes a couple of pages right into the Michigan Secretary the State's 148-page "What Every Driver need to Know" booklet for this motto of every drivers' education teachers to rear its head.

You are watching: Is driving a privilege or a right


“Please remember that driving is a privilege and not a right,” says the booklet that basically every driver has actually thumbed v while wait in line for a renewal.


It is repeated so often, it practically becomes a explain of faith. However some iconoclasts that read legislation Talk have actually asked “says who?”


The ability to journey is not taken into consideration a “fundamental interest,” according to room spokesperson Fred Woodhams.


Woodhams says due to the fact that driving is done on public-funded roadways and also since the state has jurisdiction over those roadways, the use have the right to be regulated by the state.


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Courtesy PhotoGerald Lykins

Gerald Lykins, a criminal defense lawyer who once served as an assistant prosecutor in Kent County, says "rights" space regulated through the U.S. Or Michigan Constitutions and must be explicitly listed – such as freedom of religious beliefs or the right versus self-incrimination.


The ability of the state to regulate chauffeurs on the road dates to the dawn of the auto in the 1916 can be fried Court decision regarding Frank J. Kane v. The State of new Jersey.


There Kane said brand-new Jersey's imposition of a $3 to $10 registration and also license fees – adhered to by a $5 fine as soon as he refuse to comply - was, in part, a violation the his 14th Amendment rights to “due process.”


In an opinion composed by populist justice Louis Brandeis, the court organized that the state's power was "...properly worked out in imposing a license fee ..."


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Courtesy PhotoJustice luigi Brandeis

In 1999, the ninth Circuit the the U.S. Court of Appeals, in the instance of Donald S. Miller v. The California room of engine Vehicles, ruled the there merely is no "fundamental right to drive.


“Typically, if a right is walking to it is in limited, minimal or revoked, there should be 'due process' – the appropriate to a hearing – and also there should be a an excellent basis for the revocation or restriction,” Lykins said. “The privilege to journey is a benefit that is expanded based upon specific requirements gift satisfied.”


In order come legally drive, the state requires civilization to it is in of age and have a precious operator’s permit.


To limit or revoke a privilege sometimes requires some form of early out process, however this is no as strictly required.


“While the 'right that travel' is a fundamental right, the privilege to run a motor auto can it is in conditionally granted based upon being licensed and also following particular rules,” Lykins said. “If rule are damaged or regulations are violated, the State make reservation the right to restrict or revoke a person’s privilege.”


Case law likewise holds that the security of the public deserve to outweigh the capability of the individual to drive.


If someone has actually compiled a an important mass of moving violations or if the person drives drunk or high, the state holds the the human poses a danger to the people about him.


“In the wrong hands or v an inexperienced driver, a motor automobile can come to be a weapon,” Woodhams said.


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