A Florida aviation lawyer says he is quitting his lucrative DWI law practice after a nearly year-long dispute with the Florida Department of Transportation.
In a letter posted on the website of the Miami-Dade Airport Authority, attorney Joe Sussman says he will be working as a flight attendant on a private flight from Miami to Miami-Hialeah.DWI, which stands for Driver’s Identification Verification, is a law enforcement tool to track drivers’ vehicle records.
In his letter, Sussmans said he and his wife were frustrated by DWI and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for their continued refusal to release the information required to verify drivers’ identity.
“The law has become a tool to harass and intimidate people who are not white and male,” he wrote.
“This has to stop.
This must stop.
It has to end.”
Sussmans is the first Florida attorney to leave DWI, and he says he made his decision after the DMV refused to provide his requested information.DMV spokesman Michael Litti told ABC News that the agency’s policy is to provide the information, which requires drivers to provide a name, address and date of birth, to help DWI to determine if they are eligible for a driver’s license or identification card.
“As part of its continuing efforts to enhance our criminal justice system, the Department has taken action to expand the use of this law enforcement mechanism to enhance its ability to track criminals and prevent them from obtaining licenses and identification cards,” Littis said in a statement.
The DMV declined to comment.
In February, the Florida Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit to block DWI from issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards to undocumented immigrants.
The case is ongoing in a Florida court.
Last year, a federal judge in Miami sided with the attorneys general, finding that DWI was an unlawful use of public funds to harass people with DWI records.
But Sussmens’ office appealed, and the case is pending.
In the letter, the attorney general’s office said the attorneys for the attorneys representing the DWI drivers argued that the state is not obligated to comply with Sussmens request because DWI does not issue driver’s licences or ID cards.
The attorney general has until June 5 to appeal the decision.
Sussman said he had tried to work with Dwi for more than two years.
He was a frequent flyer and even had a contract with a company that does business with Diwis offices, but the company turned him down.
“I had a lot of problems with DFW and I’ve been very vocal about it,” Sussmens said.
“It’s really difficult to have a job with the DFW office.
I’ve never worked there before.
I’m still very angry.”
The letter ends with an appeal to Congress.
“We’re in the process of trying to get the Department to do something,” Lissis said.
“We really believe that it’s our constitutional right and we’re very concerned about it.
We’re going to try and get the Congress to pass a law that would make it easier for DWI employees to get licenses and IDs.”
The DWI program is designed to help identify and deport undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of driving under the influence or other crimes, and to track them.DWD says it has more than 1,500 drivers with the program and has worked with local law enforcement agencies to identify drivers with undocumented status.
But a recent review by the Associated Press found that the department’s efforts have failed to catch hundreds of people.
More than half of the more than 2,000 drivers who received DWD driver’s certificates have been charged with driving while intoxicated, according to a March 2015 report by the Washington Post.
A review by ABC News found that more than 200 drivers with DWD certificates have received misdemeanor convictions and have had their driver’s registrations suspended for a year.