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Traffic Tickets

y Horace J. Digby

I would like to thank my friend Herb for that e-mail about how to avoid getting avoiding "points" against your driver's license if you get a traffic ticket.

The idea is to pay a few dollars over the fine, but NOT CASH THE REFUND CHECK! Apparently If the financial transaction is NOT closed, points are not assessed against your license, but since the system has been paid, it won't bother you anymore.

It sounded like good advice to me, but I wanted to try it out before passing it along to my readers. I hadn’t gotten a ticket in years, and wasn’t really sure how to get one. So I drove through town at thirty miles an hour. But the police just ignored me. Then I tried going the wrong way on a one-way street. Still no ticket. So I drank a quart of Ouzo and drove back and forth right in front of the police station. Still no ticket. At that point I parked my car and went inside to complain. Still no luck. But when I came out, someone had given me a parking ticket.

The fine was twenty-eight dollars, so I sent a check for thirty dollars. The city kept the extra money and sent me a letter saying I needed to pay the exact amount because they were unable to accept a check for over the amount. I sent another check for the exact amount. Now I am out fifty-eight dollars plus all that money for the booze and gas.

The city sent a note back telling me I had already paid the ticket, enclosing a photocopy of my second check. A few days later I got a letter saying I would be arrested and my car impounded if I did not pay the original ticket. The only sensible thing to do was drive to the police station and straighten the mess out. But when I went out to my car it had been impounded.

I took a cab to town, twenty-five dollars, paid the tow bill and the impound fee and paid the ticket again, one hundred-fifty dollars, seventy-five dollars, twenty-eight dollars. Then I drove to the police station to see if I could get my other checks back. I parked again, but this time I put three quarters in the meter, seventy-five cents. While the clerk was trying to get my checks back, the tow company called. It seems I had written so many checks, that my check for the towing bill had bounced.

I was arrested and had to post bail, six hundred dollars. By the time I was released, my parking meter had expired, twenty-eight bucks.

I went back into the police station, but they would not take my check. I told them about Herb's scheme to avoid getting drivers license points. The officer told me that there are no points for parking tickets.

Needless to say I was a little irritated and said some things I probably should not have said. The bail for disorderly conduct was two hundred dollars. I have been ordered to take anger management classes—about two thousand dollars. My license has been suspended due to all of the unpaid tickets. My bank charged me one hundred twenty-five dollars in over draft fees, and my car was repossessed because my last payment check bounced.

Thanks for the advice Herb.

P.S. I plan to e-file my taxes this year. Any suggestions?--

Horace J. Digby -- Humor Columnist for the Columbia River Reader and SandBagger Mag-e-zine! - Photo by John Claypool.
Horace J. Digby

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