Monday, July 2, 2007

$3,000 Traffic Tickets? Evolving Law or Ridiculous Law Makers? Update 11-5-07

Virginia may not love its drivers. In Virginia you can now receive a $3,000 traffic ticket. The object of the huge fine is to deter poor driving; however its real intent appears to be a method to raise money for road projects.

Virginia's traffic fines ranging from $750 to $3,000 are added to existing fines and court costs. The civil penalty for going 20 mph over the speed limit will be $1,050, plus $61 in court costs and a fine of $200. A first time DWI will get a $2,250 civil penalty plus fines and court costs. Driving without a valid license will be $900 civil penalty, plus $100 fine, plus court costs. Virginia is expected to raise over $65 million a year for the state. "It's outrageous," says traffic court attorney Thaddeus Furlong of Springfield, Va. The penalties only apply to Virginia residents. Lon Anderson of AAA Mid-Atlantic says the new law will help reduce traffic deaths.

All of the sweeping state law change is not bad. For example, Arkansas will cut its sales tax on groceries from 6% to 3% Sunday.

Wyoming has banned open containers in vehicles.
South Dakota requires repeat DWI's to stop at jails twice daily for breath testing.

New York City has banned trans fats.

Massachusetts' health care insurance law requires everyone to have health insurance — either with state help or purchased privately.

California bans pop sales on school campuses and limits sugar and fat content in school food.

Florida will randomly test high school athletes for steroid use for a trial one year period.

Indiana and North Carolina schools must tell parents of sixth-grade girls about the link between human papillomavirus and cervical cancer and the new vaccine.

Nevada requires insurers to pay for the vaccine.

Colorado requires all but one school district to teach sex education based on scientific research and contraception.

Virginia requires convicted sex offenders to register their e-mail addresses. Nevada forces certain sex offenders to live at least 1,000 feet away from schools . Connecticut creates a new crime for those who abuse a child under 13 that carries a 25-year prison sentence.

Tennessee requires all purchaser of alcohol to show identification, regardless of their age.

In Georgia, prior to an abortion, the woman must be given a chance to see an ultrasound of the fetus and hear the heartbeat. In Mississippi, a sonogram must be given before an abortion.

Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania have raised their minimum wage.

New Mexico and Rhode Island have legalized the medical use of marijuana. Vermont expanded the use of medical marijuana.

Update: 8-20-07 Virginia traffic fines are being challenged on a constitutional basis. The legislature is also strongly considering changing the law and refunding the excessive fines to residents.
Update 10-8-07 Legal Pub invited Thaddeus Furlong to comment, so in return for his insight, we do not mind giving him a free plug! Here are his comments: "Every year Virginia politicians try and outdo each other to be "tough on law breakers." Since driving 55 in a 35 mph zone is Reckless Driving here in VA, these new $1,050 fees (at the low end) will snag a lot of regular folks--not bank robbers. Our firm fights these charges on a dailiy basis and they are already causing fury at the taffic clerk's window. Some courts have installed protective glass windows like a bank to avoid irate customers learning of the new high "civil abuser fees."--Thaddeus Furlong, Esq, Springfield, Virginia " Thanks for the update, Thaddeus.

Update 11-5:
More strange laws. In Marietta, Georgia, it is illegal to spit from a moving car or bus, but is okay from a moving truck. In California, any woman dressed in a housecoat is prohibited from driving a car. In Evanston, Illinois, it is unlawful to change clothes while inside a car with the curtains drawn, except during a fire

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

After reading all this, now I feel like I am ready for law school. A lot of different laws.

I think it is unfair that only state resident drivers face these huge fines.


Ginger

Anonymous said...

Sick folks in New Mexico are smiling a little easier now days.

Did You Stop to Think? said...

I guess speeding is one more thing reserved for the rich only now...

Ms. Calabaza said...

As a Virginian, I guess I have to be a bit more cautious when I bring my moonshine on Sunday drives . . .

colleency said...

In VA, changing lanes without signaling can cost you $1,050.

Driving with a revoked license will cost you $750.

If there was any question as to whether or not these new 'fees' were reasonable / rational, this removes all doubt.

(just wondering - will these very hefty fees actually make police LESS likely to ticket for minor traffic offenses?)

http://www.courts.state.va.us/publications/hb_3202.pdf

Legal Pub said...

Ian, I think only the rich can afford to drive any way thanks to the gas prices.

Ms. C., moonshining will get you invited to a lot of parties in my state. Many of those attended by local law enforcement officers. Especially around Indy 500 weekend or the Kentucky Derby.

Colleency,most police officers that I know will not worry too much about writing a ticket that will be difficult to pay. It is just like the tax collectors, they rationalize that they are just doing their job.

Now Tax protester Brown and his supporters, I suspect they won't be paying any such civil fines...

Legal Pub said...

Thaddeus Furlong, we would welcome your comments and opinions. Please feel free to add your comments and observations.

Ron said...

Legalpub, I'm not sure most of these are enhancements, as I'm sure you will agree. Sometimes lawmakers would serve citizens better by taking laws off the books, rather than adding new laws like these.

Anonymous said...

You are right Ron. These are ridiculous laws!

Rebeca said...

This could really hurt the pocket book.

Ron said...

Who the heck is Thaddeus Furlong anyway?

Jay said...

Furlong is a Virginia traffic attorney who was quoted in the article. Surely your reading comprehension is not that bad?

Anonymous said...

Out of control legislature!

Tax Payer Rights Advocate said...

Seems like just another way to tax the people.

Anonymous said...

They will be ok. It will encourage slower driving.

Anonymous said...

I vote ridiculous.

I agree with did you stop to think...

only the rich can afford to speed. Just another advantage they have.


Bring back the power to the people.

Anonymous said...

Chalk me up as another vote for ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Cosign, Ridiculous taxation. They should have let the people vote on these fines...

Anonymous said...

An example of lawmakers out of control

Anonymous said...

ditto. ridiculous

Ralph said...

Evolving law. Let's make the offenders pay and give the rest of us law abiding citizens property tax relief.

Ralph

Anonymous said...

VA gov kaine is a real live BOSS HOGG

VA Driver

Legal Pub said...

Based on comments and email from Virginia residents, there apparently are a great deal of folks out there in the market for a General Lee Charger to outrun the ticket.

Anonymous said...

More like a state full of Barney Fifes!

Anonymous said...

Moonshiners still live and rule!

Anonymous said...

These tickets are ridiculous. If you get one, you will know what I mean. They are out to break the bank!

randy said...

Silly lawmakers! A tax is a tax. Be honest and say this is a new way to tax people, especially drivers.

Randy

Legal Pub said...

The Appellate courts are considering the constitutionality of the law. The legislature is also strongly considering amending the statute. Look for a possible refund to those who paid Virginia's excessive fines.

Anonymous said...

Every year Virginia politicians try and outdo each other to be "tough on law breakers." Since driving 55 in a 35 mph zone is Reckless Driving here in VA, these new $1,050 fees (at the low end) will snag a lot of regular folks--not bank robbers. Our firm fights these charges on a dailiy basis and they are already causing fury at the taffic clerk's window. Some courts have installed protective glass windows like a bank to avoid irate customers learning of the new high "civil abuser fees."
--Thaddeus Furlong, Esq, Springfield, Virginia

Legal Pub said...

Update 11-5 More strange laws. In Marietta, Georgia, it is illegal to spit from a moving car or bus, but is okay from a moving truck. In California, any woman dressed in a housecoat is prohibited from driving a car. In Evanston, Illinois, it is unlawful to change clothes while inside a car with the curtains drawn, except during a fire

Anonymous said...

Virginia is for rip off artist law makers who excessively fine motorists!

Anonymous said...

Speed here and you will pay!

Anonymous said...

Thadeus Furlong is my hero. He can get you a fair shake which is all anyone can ever ask for...

Anonymous said...

FurSolong, Thadeus has been a hero of the traffic offender! Thanks Thadeus.