Guy's License Suspended... Over 1981 Ticket
Typo is to blame for Kevin Berry's ordeal
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2014 8:38 AM CDT
Updated Aug 23, 2014 6:56 AM CDT
Motorists visit a Department of Motor Vehicles office in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Bruce Smith)

(Newser) – When Kevin Berry was pulled over in Portland recently, he thought he was about to get a speeding ticket. But the officer told him his license had been suspended a few weeks earlier—over a ticket dating back 33 years. "I think it's crazy," Berry tells KATU, adding that he'd renewed his license without trouble for decades. It turns out that in 1981, Berry should have indeed gotten a ticket, but because of a typo it was filed under the name "Berdy" instead, and was thus never resolved.

When the DMV discovered the error recently, it declared Berry's license invalid, and apparently sent a letter to Berry's address. But Berry, who recently moved, says he never received a forwarded letter. The DMV says he doesn't have to pay the original ticket or suspension fee because of the statute of limitations, but that he does have to pay $75 to get his license reinstated. Berry is refusing on "principle," he says, given the issue arose over a typo that wasn't his doing. (The Treasury Department, meanwhile, doesn't seem to care how old a debt is.)

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Gueorgui Gueorguiev
Aug 23, 2014 10:34 PM CDT
Back in 1995 I was driving north on I-75 in Miami . It was 5.30 am and I was going to work doing 70m.hr. on cruise control on left lane in 70m.hr. zone . Someone pulls behind me and after a mile started to flush his high beams at me . At first I did not pay any attention but after 5 miles it become worrisome for me . So I taped on the brakes to disengage the cruise control and instantly the vehicle that was flushing me turned the red and blue lights on . I pulled off to the left and the cop walked to me and ask me for the license and registration . I give it to him and he went back to his cruiser . Few minutes later he come back and ordered me out of my car , then he ordered me to open the trunk and to toss my keys inside and to close the trunk , which I did . Then he give me ticket for reckless driving . After that he just left me right there , at least 3 miles from the nearest exit and phone . I walked to the exit and from a gas station called my wife to come and bring me spare keys . Couple mounts later I was in Court fighting the ticket and first was the cop telling to the judge his side of the story , how I was driving recklessly and how he had to swerve and hit hard on his brakes in order to avoid collision with my vehicle . Then I asked the Judge if I could ask the witness ( Police officer ) a question , and he agree to it . My question was . Police officer , what is the safe following distance for two vehicles traveling at 70 m.hr. ? His answer was , I'm not sure . I retorted , You don't know very much officer , do you ? At this moment the judge declared , All charges are dismissed . And then , Officer , follow me in my chambers . There were at least 50 more people there , awaiting for their cases to be heard when the Judge took the Officer to his chambers , I presume in order to pour some sence and intelligence into his head . That story is just small example of too much power going into the heads of the Individuals and Government of all levels making them feel as if they are above the law . There is not anything scarier than Government that we elected into power , going amok and out of control !
fandancy
Aug 23, 2014 8:20 PM CDT
He should pay the ticket and get on with his life.
kumatose
Aug 23, 2014 8:09 AM CDT
The government has become so comfortable with their placing the people beneath them, that they refuse to even hide it. This is our fault.