February 6, 2006


Bet you didn't realize you're reading the blog of a Suburban Outlaw. But you are. Since December 7, 2005, I've been a renegade.

But I'm legal again so I will share the shame tale of my Outlaw Days. It's been a deep dark secret I've kept to myself. Well. Wendy knew. But I swore her to secrecy. We spit on our palms and shook hands to seal the deal. Swapping spit with Wendy is a favorite pasttime.

It all started back in November 2005. On my birthday. Remember the present I received from a kindly stranger? I did what I thought I was supposed to do: paid the fine by the due date.

Perhaps I should have been alerted my violation was special upon receipt of a letter advertising attorneys local to the county where I had been ticketed. Didn't tip me off, oh no it didn't. See I'm not really up on how legal things work. I had not had a traffic violation or even been pulled over for at least seventeen years. Seventeen years! I fly low on the radar.

Imagine my dismay when I received a notice from the court that I owed another $185 on top of the $181 I had already paid and if they didn't receive it by December 22, my driver's license would be suspended! What what what! But I'd paid my fine! I read all the fine print on the notice but it explained nothing.

It's important to note this was right after my stepfather died. I had no time or energy to question it. I quickly scribbled a check and mailed it posthaste, writing it off as a very expensive lesson.

Then came the notice from the Virginia DMV dated December 28. It was in our stack of mail when we returned from the beach.

"Suzanne, you dumbshit!" it announced. "As of December 7, 2005, your driver's license was suspended due to blah blah blah that damned ticket blah blah blah. The suspension runs through midnight February 4, 2006. After that date, you must present yourself at the DMV. Bring documentation proving you have a legal presence in the United States and Virginia. We will at that time gladly issue you a new license after we keep you waiting in a large loud room for at least an hour and take a horrible photo of you. As a bonus, you must pay a $115 license reinstatement fee."

Wow. After having held a Virginia driver's license for 26 years, I had to prove I have a legal presence in the United States and Virginia. Over a speeding ticket. Alrighty then.

So I was caught speeding. It's not good to speed. People should just slow the fuck down, especially me. The first check I wrote reminded me of that. The second check reaffirmed it. I know already, I know. My years of not getting caught adhering to the letter of the law and being a safe driver are evidently meaningless. One infraction brought the wrath of the system down on my head. Here in Virginia, we live in The Now. Sure we do.

And speaking of The Now, it's February 6. I did the crime and have done the time--which equated to letting Wendy drive when we went out together and being particularly careful when I drove on my suspended license. (Note to The Boy: do not follow my example should you ever find yourself in this position. Take the bus instead.)

I'm legal again and it feels good. Every citizen of the United States can rest easier knowing another criminal has been fairly punished and at least partially rehabilitated.

I hope you all sleep easier tonight.



Anonymous said...

Ah, but I *always* realized you to be a renegade.

No big newsflash.

And we share a common lesson here. An "advertisement for legal services" addressed to my son is how I discovered...oh, so many things.

Geeky Dragon Girl said...

Oh no... I hope my stupid ticket over a stupid right turn doesn't blow up into a suspension. I'm already an outlaw in this city!

tiff said...

This mkaes NO sense whatsoever. Why did you pay twice in the first place? Then after paying 2X you still had the suspension?
This would be really odd, except that my brother (who live in NoVa) also had this happen. For no real reason. Stupid Virginia.

Career Guy said...

Hey, as long as you have that checkbook out, I could use $181. Why break your rhythm? Keep writing!

Unknown said...

I drove around for almost a year on a suspended license back in 2003. And I was driving 80 a day, round trip, for my job. I know the driving just AT the speed limit, and eyeing every single cop that you past, waiting to see if they're going to follow you. I've been an outlaw, you're not alone! *smile*

Anonymous said...

That sounds like you should TOTALLY fight that. It's almost like they didn't realize you paid, or some crazy government crap.

I'd be calling and ranting to ALL sorts of people!!