Tag Archives: ticket

A Speeding Ticket after 28 Years

I will immediately admit that it was totally my fault.  Saying that, let me quote my son: “Let’s take Hwy 19; it’s two lane, 55 mph all the way there.”

I got my first speeding ticket in over 28 years.  Dammit.  I was so pissed. Of course it was in this dinky ass town called Plummersville and the end of the month and blah, blah, blah. I had never been there before and trust me, will never go there again.

I was cited for going 52 in a 35.  Which I know was not true because there was the 45 mph and then BAM!  50 feet later was the sign for 35 mph.  (They may be a small town but not stupid in knowing ways to obtain money).

When I went online to look up my fine, it was $180.00. WTF!   Surely they jest.  Figuring that I could at least reduce the amount of the ticket, I duly put the date for traffic court on my Outlook calendar and planned on presenting my side of the story (not including my son’s stupid advice).

Used GPS to find the courthouse. Drove by the damn thing three times before finally rolling down my window and asking someone.  “This is it,” they told me.  I was dumbfounded.  Never would have even guessed.

Because this “courthouse” was definitely more like a community hall/fire station/employee lounge/after school program room.  Not kidding.  Because all I could see were metal folding chairs and tables, a microwave and fridge and several cheery religious signs on the wall.  When I walked in, I asked someone where I signed in.  They just looked at me.  “You don’t,” they said.  So I just sat down.

I seriously wanted to take a picture but with the many cops and a few other employees, I was definitely afraid of saying or doing anything other than sitting on that damn uncomfortable metal chair.  And checking my work email because I certainly had other things I could be doing.

Finally the “judge” (I have to use the term loosely here) got the rollie chairs from the lounge area and set up at the folding table at the front of the room.  As the court employee called out names, no one responded.  Finally, after several of these, the judge announced that everyone could just line in up in alphabetical order and he would speak with each person.

When my name was called, I went up the front and explained that I was “not going 52 in a 35; but would agree that I was going 52 in a 45.”

The judge’s response was; “Hon, it doesn’t matter how fast you were going, if you plead guilty you will pay the fine.”

“I respectfully request that you do not call me ‘hon’ and to clarify—it wouldn’t matter if I were in a 35 or 45 mph zone, the fine would be the same?”

“No, if you were going 20 mph over the speed limit, you would also have been cited for reckless driving.  How do you plead?”

“Guilty and do you take credit cards?”

“Yes, pay the clerk $180.00.” (Wait, this gets better)

So I go to the cop-clerk and hand him my ticket and credit card. He looks at me and then says he isn’t sure he can process the credit card because “the last time I tried to do it, the entire card was ruined.”

“But I was told you could take a credit card.”

“Well, we can but Doris has to do it.”

“And where is Doris?”

“Up there with the judge so you’ll have to wait until she is done.”

Now, mind you my last name is at the beginning of the alpha so I REALLY did not want to hang around for another 30 minutes.  And I didn’t bring my Jimmy Dean frozen sausage biscuit to cook in the microwave.

“Now,” the cop-clerk continued.  “You could go to the Country Store and use the ATM to get cash.  I can take that.”

“You have to be bloody kidding me,” I muttered as I left the room, got in my car and drove to the Country Store and used their ATM.

I returned to the courthouse/after school center/church fellowship hall with my cash and proceeded to the cop-clerk again. By this time “Doris” was free and could have taken my credit card but since I now had cash, this wasn’t an issue. I did feel obligated to tell Doris that cop-clerk needed to obviously have training on taking credit card payments. She didn’t care.

Here is a picture of the outside of the courthouse.  If I had waited 10 minutes, I could have included the judge smoking a cigarette next to the vending machine.

If you look really close, you can see the paper “Court House” sign taped to the door.

 

 

Cop Story #1

 We recently purchased a truck. Yep, so now we get to drive ‘round town in an ‘ole truck (feel free to say that using a very southern accent). We weren’t looking very hard for a truck, but there were just too many times when we could really use one and by luck we happened to come across a truck that was a good deal.

So we met the seller of said truck at our bank, signed all the necessary papers and voila! Official truck owners! Afterwards, the seller went to the truck in the parking lot of the bank and removed his license plate tag.

“What happens if you get pulled over driving the truck without a tag?” I asked my husband.

“I seriously doubt that would happen since I am just going from here right to the DMV but I have all the paperwork that shows we just bought the truck so I can’t imagine it would be a problem,” he answered.

Most famous last words, right?

Sure enough – driving along our rural roads of Ohio where they are way over staffed with local police officers driving brand new cars who have nothing better to do – he got pulled over for driving a vehicle without a license.

My husband immediately began explaining to the officer that he had just purchased the truck, was on his way to DMV and “would you like to see the loan paperwork?”

Nothing. I mean, according to my husband, you could just hear the pretty little birds chirping in the background and imagine the officer scratching his head.

“You know you need a license plate to operate a vehicle on Ohio roads and you should have gotten that taken care of before you bought the vehicle, sir.” (I am adding the sir just because he was so stupid it feels right. You know, a stupid but respectful officer)

My husband calmly explained to the officer: “Well, I couldn’t exactly get a tag because I didn’t officially own the truck, right? And the seller wasn’t going to let me keep HIS tag because isn’t that against the law so you understand I have no choice but drive it without a tag and I was going straight from the bank to the DMV to get it and here is all the documentation that I just purchased the truck not 15 minutes ago for proof…”

“Well, I have never heard of that story before,” the cop answered. “All I can tell you is that you need a tag to lawfully operate a vehicle. It doesn’t matter that you just bought it.”

Now, at this point my husband had the mantra of: “Do not hit the officer and get arrested, my wife will kill me; do not hit the officer and get arrested, my wife will kill me” going on in his head.

So he decided to do a Denzel Washington and explain it to the officer like he was kindergartner:

“Well, if I HAD to do that, I would have to get a tow truck and then pay to have the truck towed to the DMV to get the tags. Now, that doesn’t make much sense, right? I mean, the truck is driveable” (Pause here for response from officer. Hearing none …)

“Umm, maybe there is someone higher up that you can call?” My husband politely asked, still thinking “Do not hit the officer, do not hit the officer, DO NOT hit the officer…”

Now, this got the ole officer a bit riled up – probably based on the fact that he obviously didn’t have a good answer. (I’m just guessing here).

“You do know I could arrest you right now and impound this truck, right?” the officer replied.

So my husband wisely said nothing and just looked at the guy. Officer Dick finally hitched up his pants, told my husband that he had better go DIRECTLY to the DMV and he would definitely give him a ticket if he caught him driving the truck without a tag.

And I was so proud of my husband; he didn’t hit the officer.