Sunday, August 05, 2007

Second Judge Declares "Abusive Driver's Fee" Unconstitutional

Richmond General District Court judge, Thomas O. Jones, ruled Friday that the fees violate the 14th Amendment's guarentee of equal protection under the law because they aply only to state residents.

The ruling by Judge Jones has not been appealed by The Commonwealth.

It's not over, but it looks promising to those of us who were concerned solely with the inequality of it. David B. Albo (Remember him? He's the Representative from Fairfax who was the primary backer of the fees. He's also a partner in the law firm of Albo & Oblon, where he handles (you guessed it) mostly traffic cases) is busy drafting legislation for the 2008 General Assembly that will include out of state drivers, even though he still believes the current law is constitutional.

The Henrico verdict has been appealed and is scheduled to be heard later this week in the county's circuit court.

The thought's been offered from somewhere in the governor's office that the lawmakers do not believe the law was intended to impose a "disproportionate burden" on Virginians. They were more thinking it was, perhaps, a matter of "administrative convenience."

Gosh, that makes me feel so, so - so icky, yanno?

Stay tuned for further developments.

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