The “0INK” vanity plate battle waged by Indiana police officer Rodney Vawter has come to an end–at least for now. We previously reported on Officer Vawters’s efforts of to keep his vanity plate “0INK”–a tongue-in-cheek reference to his job. The Chicago Tribune reports that Officer Vawter lost the battle last week, with a unanimous high court ruling that license plates are not individual speech but government speech subject to regulation.
An 0INK Vanity Plate was the central issue last Thursday before the Indiana Supreme Court. Greenfield police officer Rodney Vawter, represented in court by the American Civil Liberties Union, challenged the decision by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles to revoke his 0INK Vanity Plate after three years of use. Officer Vawter said the 0INK Vanity Plate was a tongue-in-cheek reference to his job, but the BMV said it was offensive.
Female motorist can sue police who held her at gunpoint after automated license plate reader mistakes her Lexus sedan for a stolen pickup. An innocent woman forced to her knees, held at gunpoint, handcuffed and surrounded by multiple San Francisco, California police officers can proceed with her lawsuit for false arrest. The Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals on Monday ruled that the officers were potentially liable for using excessive force against Denise Green after an automated license plate reader (ALPR or ANPR in Europe) mistakenly flagged her vehicle as stolen. On March 30, 2009, a camera mounted on a police car on Mission Street took a blurry photo of Green’s burgundy Lexus ES300 which the automated system confused for a stolen gray GMC pickup truck. After being alerted to the “hit” over the radio, San Francisco Police Sergeant Ja Han Kim saw Green’s car pass by. He neither confirmed the license plate number on the car nor the make and model of the stolen vehicle. Instead, he called for backup and initiated a high-risk felony stop. Green, a 47-year-old black woman, was held for twenty minutes before one of the six officers got around to checking her license plate. Green sued for false arrest, but a federal district granted the officers immunity. The appellate judges disagreed, finding evidence of
Milpitas Police Department’s traffic unit will conduct a driving under the influence/driver’s license checkpoint from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday, May 24 on Great Mall Parkway. The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes, according to police. Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive patrols are conducted routinely, according to law enforcement. In California, this deadly crime led to 802 deaths because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Nationally, the latest data shows nearly 10,000 were killed by an impaired driving. “Over the course of the past three years, we have investigated 127 DUI collisions with 28 injuries, which included one fatal collision,” Milpitas police Sgt. Raj Maharaj said. Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment with officers checking drivers for proper licensing delaying motorists only momentarily. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving. Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol
After being denied a vanity plate for “8THEIST,” New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission approved her second choice, “BAPTIST.” Stories on the NJ101.5.com and SILive.com web sites.
Virginia’s DMV is again in the news regarding a vanity plate. This time it’s a Dallas Cowboys fan who was not a fan of Robert Griffin, III. A Redskins fan reported the plate to DMV, who reportedly had “taken appropriate action” years ago.