Thursday, February 11, 2010

Winning is a beautiful thing!

On the way home from our Utah Thanksgiving trip Heath was pulled over. The highway patrolman claimed Heath had been speeding. Heath explained he always drives with cruise control. The patrolman claimed we had been clocked by airplane going 86 mph.

Once before we had supposedly been clocked by air traffic control on the way home from Seattle. When Heath explained that the cruise control was set the patrolman let us off with a warning.

The patrolman near Battle Mountain, NV was in no mood for warnings. We waited for at least 10 minutes before he came back with a ticket. The officer must have thought he was doing us a favor by reducing the speed on the ticket to 79. It was going to cost us $82 plus the cost of having the ticket on Heath’s record. He was mad. He said he would fight the ticket because there was no way we were going 86 mph. The patrolman said we had every right to fight it.

So we did.

First we had to get home. We warned several people at gas stations heading the way we had just come that they better mind their p’s and q’s in Battle Mountain. The cops were out in full force. There were three patrol cars tucked behind an on ramp when one of them pulled us over. It was Black Friday and the cops were annoyed there wasn’t more to do on the freeways, I guess. Everyone was busy shopping for Christmas.

When we got home we looked at the ticket. There were several red flags, the biggest one being that the vehicle clocked speeding was dark green. Our van is blue.

Heath sent out a letter to the judge and the Nevada Highway Patrol requesting all evidence of his speeding from every involved officer. He requested the tracking log from the aircraft officer from all observations on that day. And an accounting for each observation over the posted speed limit for the area patrolled by aircraft. The letter was sent certified mail.

No response.

Before his court date, Heath wrote another letter to the judge where he moved for dismissal based on lack of evidence. He also said he wanted the dismissal granted without his physical appearance in court “since the distance of travel and potential weather issues that exist in early February” from our home to Battle Mountain “make physical appearance difficult and dangerous.” I thought that was a nice touch.

He tracked that letter but still no response.

We were worried we would have a letter from a collection’s agency because Heath didn’t appear in court. Yesterday we got the letter.

It was copies of all the letters Heath had sent with copies of the evidence Heath sent. The ticket, the paperwork stating our van is blue, etc. The front page was stamped with a bold blue DISMISSED. Heath calculated that it cost him about $25 to contact the court and NHP. He saved himself the cost of an $82 ticket, the mark on his record, and whatever the insurance would do as a result.

Worth it? Oh yes. Winning is always worth it. He won his case and now has bragging rights. That is always worth it! And he still believes he is innocent.

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