I’m guessing the phrase “equal protection” doesn’t mean anything to you… Part 9

From NBC 4 in Washington, D.C.: Abusive Driver Fees Face Tough Opposition [emphasis mine]:

A Navy veteran who was ticketed for reckless driving on his way to reserve duty at the Pentagon is suing state of Virginia over its abuser fee program.

Charles Mason is asking an Arlington General District Court judge to declare the civil remedial fees unconstitutional. The fees ranging from $750 to $3,000 for various serious driving offenses were enacted as a funding source for new transportation projects.

Courts in Henrico County and Richmond have already ruled the fees unconstitutional, but the rulings apply only in those jurisdictions.

Mason was stopped July 8 on Interstate 395 for driving 20 miles an hour over the speed limit. He faces a $1,050 civil remedial fee if convicted of reckless driving.

Mason has a clean driving record and no criminal record. One state lawmaker said that had Mason contested the ticket in court, he wouldn’t be convicted of reckless driving.

He shouldn’t have to contest it in court, you weasel (who they don’t even bother naming).

[…]

Defense attorney Craig Cooley argues that legislators had no rational basis for exempting out-of-state drivers from paying fees as high as $3,000. The fees are assessed on Virginia drivers only, in addition to fines and possible jail time.

Prosecutors, however, argue lawmakers did have a rationale for passing the legislation this year. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Duncan Reid says Virginians use their roads more than non-residents, they benefit more from the roads and it’s impractical or almost impossible to collect the new fees from non-residents.

Wait a second, I thought the fees were designed to stop bad driving, and that it was impossible (not “almost impossible”) to collect on out of state drivers?

Can you please make up your mind on what lie you’re going to use?

Virginia state Sen. Edd Houck said he wants the state’s new abusive driver fee laws to be stopped and refunds be paid to those who paid any portion of a fee.

[…]

Houck will introduce the repeal bill in the 2008 session or in special session, if one is called.

At least someone is offering to do something to fix this and not BS around.

1 Comment

  1. Brittany Rock says:

    OK – the end of this saga is that Mason gets off the reckless driving charge by cutting a deal with the Government – leaving the rest of us without any answer to whether these fees are constitutional or not. Great!!

    The only thing this proves is that in Virginia you can hire pitbull lawyers and bulldoze your way through the courts.

    If you drive like a moron on the roads, pay your dues and be held accountable. Law abiding people do not expect the Johnny Cochrans and Thaddeus Furlongs of the world to save them – they take responsibility!

    Furlong, it seems is a former police officer from Fairfax County working now for a team of police officers and prosecutors turned high price attorneys. What a world we live in when those who are taught to uphold the laws use their knowledge and experience to navigate guilty people around a system laden with cracks and loopholes! A disgrace to justice and fairness.

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