Six months ago I was cited for lapsed insurance, a fix it ticket. I had insurance reissued the next day. After moving and misplacing the citation, I knew it was probably overdue but figured I could pay it as soon as I found it, and at the very least that I would get some sort of reminder notice. Time flew quickly: I became engaged and got married in April. The Sunday morning right after the wedding I was pulled over on Fairview and Orchard as we were heading out of town to our honeymoon. My truck had a very attracting, “JUST MARRIED,” written across the back window in big red letters. I asked why they were pulling me over and the officer stated that “you only used your turn signal for 3 seconds, not 5 seconds”, in a street void of any other traffic. Incidentally, we had noticed just a few minutes previous the same police car recklessly switching lanes without using his turn signal. While one of the officers harassed my new bride forcing her to show her ID and plying her for information about our travels, the other officer cited me for driving without a license. I protested the validity of the citation. How could I have a suspended license? He said it might be because of my fix it ticket, although it usually takes three of those to trigger a license suspension. He instructed me to just call DMV and check on it. Of course, he forgot to give me a ticket for his bogus assertion that I had recklessly changed lanes without signaling for a full five seconds.
Having returned from my honeymoon, I paid my first ticket and was told that there was no record of my new citation showing in their system. My wife even called to double check. If it was in their records, I would have paid it at the same time. We were told to wait at least two weeks. Yesterday, my wife called again to check on the citation and was told that there was a warrant for my arrest for a failure to obey citation. Today I paid a $525 bail for what started out as a $170 citation. Our constitution says that punitive bail amounts are illegal. “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposted, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” (U.S. Constitution, 8th Amendment).
I still don’t have a court date, but I am supposed to go to the Clerk of the Court after June 28th to get on the list. So much for swift justice. I was told I would get a court date today. So, I have been fined, harassed, had a valid license wrongly suspended, paid my ticket like any other law-abiding citizen, and still paid $500 bail for minding my own business in the land of the free handout. The Biblical standard for government is to “punish evildoers and reward the good” (I Pet 2:14) allowing citizens to “live at peace” (Romans 12:18), but I guess our government’s new mission is to never allow us peace, and instead to harass the good and give handouts to the wicked?
This morning when I was at the Sheriff’s I asked the Deputy why they didn’t inform citizens of arrest warrants. She acted appalled and said they couldn’t possibly do that since there’s over 18,000 active arrest warrants in Ada County. That’s about 10% of the city’s population. Ada County certainly has a wonderful money-making racket going on.
In court I will be fighting to defend our freedom to move without ridiculous restrictions that make criminals out of all of us. I will also be fighting to keep Idahoans from having their license suspended without due process and actual conviction. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? I’ll put myself on the line for the freedom of others. But, who thinks that any man can fight alone? Even King David had his thirty warriors. I encourage the courageous to find their voice. If we don’t speak out, these things will not change.
“…it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?”
“Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
- Patrick Henry, excerpted from his “Give Me Liberty, or Give me Death” speech.
On a personal note to all my friends and family, I am not in jail. The media is reporting that I was arrested, but I was not in jail and I am fine. I simply went in to pay a $500 refundable bond and try to get a court date. I have been to the jail before to visit people there. I encourage everyone to visit those in jail and prison whenever possible. Paul and Peter were imprisoned wrongfully. Jesus was executed on trumped-up charges. One of the best ways to explain sin and salvation to a non-believer is this parallel. We all deserve to be in prison, but Jesus paid our bail. Praise God!