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A driver's license suspension has become a one-size-fits-all punishment for a variety of offenses that have nothing to do with driving.

Gas station at night"In Wisconsin there are 98 ways to lose your license, and we keep adding more," says Yunk Todd, of the Center for Driver's License Recovery and Employability. "We like to find ways to penalize people, and find ways to take away their privilege to drive."

Add to the list of offenses in some states: misuse of a handicap space; immigration or visa expiration; graffiti; defacing signs; flying while intoxicated.

"The most common misperception is that the threat of a license being suspended does change people's behavior," says Mikell, the former Georgia prosecutor. "But 75 percent of the folks who are suspended continue to drive anyway."

"The stigma is gone," he adds. Plus, "people are so dependent on their cars, they just don't know what to do."