Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Woman May Lose License Over 25 Year Old Ticket

Connie Van Houter of Colonie, NY is about to lose her driver's license because she ran a red light.

Twenty-five years ago.

According to a story in the Albany (New York) Times-Union, Van Houter received a notice that her license would be suspended for failing to show up for a court date back in 1984, over a ticket she received in February 27 of that year.

"I'm retired, been retired for five years," she told the Times-Union. "I've had a heart attack and three strokes. I'm supposed to remember a ticket?"

Van Houter will plead not guilty.

Apparently staff at the Colonie Town Court have been going through old files and sending open cases to the state DMV. . . Van Houter's old employer.

Ken Brown, a spokesman for the state DMV, said there is no statute of limitations for failing to show up for court.

"If we're notified by a jurisdiction that they have an outstanding summons, we put it on the record," Brown said. Brown said that it's "pretty uncommon" to suspend licenses for 25-year-old offenses.

But Colonie Town Attorney Michael Maggiuli said he has never heard of a case like this. He believes a driver cannot be cited if two years have gone by, even for failing to appear in court.

If I were Van Houter, I would ask for the original photo and ticket for evidence. And when they can't produce it, there's no proof, therefore no crime.

And if she doesn't win, she said she would be happy to pay the fine.

Her check will probably clear in 2034.

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1 comment:

  1. I don't know whether to snicker at this or shake my head. It's insane that it would even be pursued.

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