Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Off to contest a "traffic" ticket..

Or, more accurate, "your papers, please" citation. Was pulled over a few weeks ago for not having tabs displayed (when a 15 second check of DOL records would show that, SURPRISE, he has valid paid up registration!). Instead, a citation for "Not Displaying a Valid License" was issued...

Now, I'm not really in favor of making street cops play revenue agent. Not particularly in favor of said cops then not taking the 15 seconds to use the perfectly good terminal located in every SPD patrol car to, oh, say check if the license was valid.

So, day off from work to begin the process of either (a) getting the ticket tossed in a pre-trial hearing, or (b) proceeding to trial. In either case, getting $124 from me will likely end up in the city spending $1,000 or more. I'm a bit irritated, and anything that pushes the city that much closer to bankruptcy is probably a good thing in my eyes.

Points of the day:

1) Ordinance states "valid license", says nothing about displaying tabs. Neither does the authorizing RCW. W/ Current registration being in place at time of citation, I'm thinking valid license was, in fact, displayed.

2) Penalizing me for the officers failure to perform a simple registration check prior to taking pen in hand is an inequitable event.

Frankly, I'm a lot more confident of #1 than #2, as arguments of "this is too bloody stupid to be allowed to stand" seldom get much traction as far as I can tell.

As bonus points, if it goes to trial I'm asking for the presence of both the citing officer and his ride-along, the citing officers last 5 years citation records related to this particular offense cross-correlated to how many motorists actually had valid registration at time of citation....with an eye towards suggesting *all* members of that class should have any fines resulting refunded.

The whole thing makes me a bit cranky, and so, off to City Hall I go....grrr.

Update: Eh, they took me in early, the Magistrate wasn't having any, offered me $50.00 off, and I was tired. Rather than pissing away another day, took the discount and ran once assured that it wasn't a moving violation and would not hit my insurance. Already regretting not pushing forward to trial on principal.