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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

State Rewards Bad Drivers in the New Year

Posted By on Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 1:45 PM

click to enlarge It would be easier if cars just didn't go as fast
  • It would be easier if cars just didn't go as fast

If you're like me, you have an unstoppable propensity to speed, and an even greater penchant for not paying tickets on time.

So be it.

Believe it or not we can get away with it -- sort of. Among the many things the state does to screw us over, lawmakers were kind enough to give us outlaw drivers a break -- albeit a small one. Come Jan. 1. 2012 (yes, the same day you will no longer be able to buy alcohol at the self-checkout), some of you will have a rare opportunity to clear your delinquent driving record without actually having to pay the full fine.

Consider it a belated Christmas gift to the 99 percent.

What might appear to be an act of kindness by the state is actually an act of sheer desperation; the state legislature mandated that all counties in California implement a one-time amnesty period where villain drivers only have to pay 50 percent of what they owe. In exchange their record will be cleared.

Here's how it works: 

Any driver with outstanding traffic tickets that were supposed to be paid off by Jan. 1, 2009, are eligible for the program, but only if the following also applies:

  • You either failed to appear in court or pay the full fine.

  • The last date you made any payment was by Jan. 1, 2009.

  • You don't owe restitution to a victim in any case in the county where the traffic ticket was filed.

  • You have no outstanding warrants in the county where the ticket was filed.
Of course there might be other eligibility requirements, which vary from county-to-county.  Also, this doesn't apply to those of you who have DUIs or reckless driving violations. And no, it won't clear your parking tickets.

So get in your car and gun it down to your local courthouse, because this opportunity only lasts until June 30, 2012.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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