Just one month after offering amnesty to drivers with unpaid traffic and parking tickets, Suffolk County has now announced it will begin booting and towing cars whose owners have still not paid. The boot and tow program will begin March 1, according Paul Margiotta, executive director of the Suffolk Traffic and Parking Violations Agency. As of yet, there is no indication as to how much one must owe to be booted and towed, nor when exactly one could expect to realize such consequences. CBS News reported that as many as many as 83,000 vehicles could be booted and towed.
Drivers who are caught can expect to pay $250 to remove the boot, $350 to cover the cost of towing. In addition, they will pay a $75 storage fee each day the car remains confiscated.
Neighboring Nassau County has had a similar program since 2012, which has booted 14,408 vehicles to date, bringing in $27.7 million of revenue. Suffolk County officials clearly hope their program will bring in similar cash flow; the county’s 2019 budget expects $26.16 million in red light camera fines despite its traffic agency forecasting just $22.72 million in revenue this year; Suffolk County’s traffic revenue fell just short of $5 million last year.
Drivers should keep in mind that, in addition to getting booted and towed, those who fail to respond to or pay traffic tickets in New York State can also have their driver’s license suspended. A suspended license means that every time one gets behind the wheel he/she is at risk of being charged with a misdemeanor offense of aggravated unlicensed operation (AUO). In some cases, AUO can also be charged as a felony. A conviction for driving while suspended/AUO means having a permanent criminal record, facing costly fines, and even possible jail time.
Rather than refuse to pay, drivers can avoid the consequences of a traffic ticket by hiring an attorney. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law Firm are skilled traffic ticket attorneys with offices in New York and New Jersey. Our attorneys have experience with all types of traffic tickets, as well as defending drivers who have been charged with driving while suspended/AUO. Email or call 888-883-5529 for a free consultation about your case.