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  1. #1
    Senior Member FedUpinFarmersBranch's Avatar
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    Diary of a checkpoint nightmare

    OCEANSIDE: Diary of a checkpoint nightmare
    Woman pays $591 for expired driver's license
    By DAN SIMMONS - Staff Writer | Sunday, August 10, 2008 7:51 PM PDT ∞

    47 comment(s) Increase Font Decrease Font email this story print this story OCEANSIDE ---- Tammy Bridges' problem with traffic checkpoints has nothing to do with racial profiling.

    It's not about civil liberties, either.

    Instead, it's their cost ---- a lesson she learned after paying $591 for being four months' overdue in renewing her driver's license.

    "It's so excessive," said the stay-at-home mother of two. "The average family doesn't have that kind of money to spare, and we barely did ourselves."

    Bridges said she forgot to renew her driver's license, which expired Jan. 2. She said she had gotten a renewal notice in December, but it got lost in the holiday shuffle of gifts, parties and working her at-home job, which she said picks up significantly during the holidays.

    She said she didn't realize the oversight until April 16 ---- when she happened to get stopped at a traffic checkpoint on Melrose Drive. After checking her driver's license and seeing it had expired, an officer asked her to step out of the car.

    "Are you taking me to jail?" Bridges asked.

    "No, we're taking your car to jail," she said the officer replied.

    The process is the same for everyone with an expired license, no matter how long it is past its renewal date, Oceanside police Lt. Kelan Poorman said.

    If the driver is alone, police confiscate the car, issue a ticket and require the person to arrange a ride home.

    If another licensed driver is in the car, that person can drive the car home, he said.

    Bridges, 41, was alone and walked about two miles home, she said.

    Her black Hyundai Tucson was towed to S & R Towing Inc. Her husband, Michael, came home from work to help try to rectify the situation.

    That afternoon, Bridges said, they tried to take care of every detail and make up for what she admitted was a careless mistake.

    Their first stop: Department of Motor Vehicles. They paid $28 to renew her driver's license.

    Next stop: Oceanside Police Department. They paid $165 for a "vehicle release fee."

    Poorman said the fee pays for processing and personnel costs associated with unlicensed drivers.

    Next stop: S & R Towing Inc. They paid $185 for the tow from the checkpoint and $40 for a daily storage fee.

    Drivers with an expired license may get their cars back as early as the same day, Poorman said.

    However, people caught driving with a suspended or revoked license usually have their car impounded for 30 days before it can be reclaimed, he said.

    The trip took the couple five hours during an afternoon when Michael Bridges was supposed to be at work.

    At that point, after shelling out $418, Bridges said, she was just glad to be done with it ---- or so she thought.

    "I felt terrible about it," she said. "We had big financial troubles this year and were just getting back to where we could start saving again."

    In May, a letter arrived from the San Diego Superior Court.

    Bridges, thinking she already had paid the fees related to the checkpoint, read only a third of the way down the page, stopping after this sentence: "If you have already taken care of this matter, please disregard this notice."

    So she put it in a pile, not realizing that a few lines after she stopped reading was this sentence: "You must pay $358 on or before June 18, 2008."

    The letter was announcing another charge, this one for the driving without a license.

    On July 11, another letter arrived, this one from AllianceOne Receivables Management, Inc.

    It announced that in addition to her unpaid $358 ticket, a $300 fine had been added because she failed to appear in court or pay bail by June 18 as spelled out in the previous letter ---- which was still in a pile collecting dust, she said.

    Pay the $658 or appear in court within 10 days, the letter said, or "you may be subject to wage garnishment, bank levy, or both."

    The $418 had now ballooned to $1,076. Bridges was incredulous.

    "I would have showed up in court if I knew I had to," she said. "I guess I'm not an expert in life."

    She went to court on a Monday morning in mid-July and presented her case to a judge. The judge waived the $300 fine and cut the $358 ticket to $173.

    Final bill: $591.

    Bridges said she was thankful her family could handle the cost without resorting to using credit cards. She actually made off on the cheaper end, because she retrieved the car from storage right away; it costs $40 every additional day it's there.

    But she questioned the cost and hassle involved and lamented how destructive the situation would have been for other families.

    "There are people who no way could have paid this," she said.

    The ordeal caused at least one change for the family: Michael Bridges has assumed responsibility for all paperwork.

    And Tammy Bridges said she won't forget to renew her driver's license.

    Another parent at her kids' school mentioned that her license had been expired since January.

    "Listen to my story," Bridges told her.

    Contact staff writer Dan Simmons at (760) 740-5426 or dsimmons@nctimes.com.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member vmonkey56's Avatar
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    AFFORDING IT IN AMERICA OR YOU DON'T GET TO USE A CAR
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    Our police have become the tax men and tax women of our failing governments.

    Soon they will be fining drivers for being late on their credit card payments.

    W
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  4. #4
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    We drive rolling ATMs and the pols and the oil companies just take what they want.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Richard's Avatar
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    My father told me about how while he was living in California in the thirties and forties there were some rural towns on highways that produced most of their municipal budget from traffic fines.
    I support enforcement and see its lack as bad for the 3rd World as well. Remittances are now mostly spent on consumption not production assets. Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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    Senior Member cayla99's Avatar
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    I got caught in what I believe was a speed trap while in cali. I was driving home late at night on a dark 2 lane winding hwy. I had no cell phone. The car in front of me was driving 15mph in a 55 zone. Three times they stopped for no reason, accelerated and crossed the solid yellow line, then went back down to under 20. At one point, they pulled onto the shoulder and stopped, just as I was inches from reaching it, they pulled out in front of me. Then we rounded a curve that lead to the ONLY straight drive on the entire route. I went to pass him when he was going 25mph. I went into the oncoming traffic lane and began to accelerate to pass him. As i did so, He sped up big time. There was 4 or 5 other cars behind him, and a car heading straight for me about 500 yards down the road. I hit the gas, successfully passed, just to see the red lights flashing. When I pulled over, the guy in the erratic car was laughing and gave me a thumbs up. I was ticketed for doing 65 in a 55 zone while passing. The judge couldn't care less about the circumstances. He told me I should have known if the man had been driving sporadically that it wasn't safe to pass him. This was my first ticket in a little over 20 years.
    Proud American and wife of a wonderful LEGAL immigrant from Ireland.
    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing." -Edmund Burke (1729-1797) Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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    Senior Member Ex_OC's Avatar
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    CA has the highest rates and penalties of all 50 states.

    But that lady has learned a valuable lesson. READ THE FINE PRINT WHEN YOU GET A CITATION.
    PRESS 1 FOR ENGLISH. PRESS 2 FOR DEPORTATION.

  8. #8
    Senior Member crazybird's Avatar
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    As people already know there's been problems in Chicago and now they are whining that illegals are being deported for traffic violations.....like driving without a license, insurance and unregistered car.....they had a Chicago policeman call in to a talk show and when they come to court....the judge says do you have a license.....and with the aid of a translator,.....no.....then he askes do you have the ability to get a license.......no......ok fine 150.00.....next. In which they go right back out, hop in their unregistered, uninsured vehicle and drive away.....unlicensed. Not stopping behind the white line at the traffic lights, being caught on camera, costs more. Now Blago wants cameras on the interstates for revenue.....not safety....out right revenue. Daley is already spending the supposid revenue he plans on getting from booting cars that have more than 2 unpaid fines. My husband showed me an article in the paper where when they had a parade recently.....they waited till lots were parked in and other parking areas and then stuck a sign saying you can't park here or your car will be towed......and they were. Guess shop owners saw it happen.....but fighting it costs more than just paying for it. You can get raked over the coals for forgetting or making a mistake.....yet you can outright, on purpose break the law and get a free pass. It was a while back but they targeted nice cars for minor traffic violations because they figured they'd be able to collect money from them and didn't bother with junkers breaking the same laws. It's all about the money for sure and it can destroy a family. I remember when they first had DUI checkpoints and old lady was busted because she took cough medicine before she left home. Guess it was enough to trigger the breathalizer......
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  9. #9
    Senior Member crazybird's Avatar
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    Had a friend who's son went to Florida for spring break. Like 4 guys together......guess it wasn't the fun they had hoped to have, so they shot the moon as they drove over the state line. (Not her son, he was driving.) But since he was driving he got a host of tickets for this and they were told many times they target out of state drivers because few will return to fight it. Easy revenue.
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  10. #10
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    Are illegal invaders subject to the same treatment when they are routinely pulled over and found to be driving without a license? Are their cars impounded and subject to the same exorbitant fees to get it back?

    I remember some pro-illegal invader loud mouth going berserk in Chicago not long ago because a few of his illegal invaders had been caught in a DUI checkpoint.
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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