3 August 2007
That's how we do things in the 804
Virginia, starting this month, is collecting civil penalties in addition to fines in an obvious effort to fatten the exchequer.
The Old Grouch helpfully pointed out in comments that these applied only to Virginians.
And apparently that particular bit of discrimination was enough to get the law enabling them struck down:
In the first case of its kind, a Henrico County General District Court judge today struck down as unconstitutional the Virginia's controversial speeding ticket tax that had been in effect since July 1. Judge Archer L. Yeatts III ruled that the civil remedial fees violated the equal protection clause by applying additional, mandatory fines of up to $3000 on Virginia drivers, but not out-of-state drivers who may have committed the same driving violation.
"A 'dangerous' driver is a 'dangerous' driver, whether he or she is a life-long resident of Virginia or simply passing through on his or her way to another state or county," Judge Yeatts wrote. "The court rejects the speculations postulated by the commonwealth, and mindful of its obligation to do so, has exhausted its speculation quotient in trying to conceive of any others that would be a rational basis for the distinction between resident and non-resident 'dangerous drivers'."
Source here. For now, this applies only to Henrico County. Still to be answered: how a government can pass off a fine as a mere fee.
(Courtesy of Bitter Bitch.)Posted at 3:49 PM to Driver's Seat