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DC Makes It Even Harder to Contest Camera Tickets
If you weren't driving and receive a camera ticket, Washington, DC wants you to provide the driver's license of the person who was.

It's already hard enough to fight an improper red light or speed camera ticket in the District of Columbia, as one Washington Post columnist has already noted. Now the city proposes to make things even more difficult.

Anyone who receives a ticket in the mail for an offense he did not commit can no longer merely prove his own innocence "by a preponderance of the evidence," he must furnish the correct driver's license number of the person who was actually driving. The regulation even threatens a perjury charge against anyone providing a number that doesn't exactly match what is in the DMV database.

Any appeal to a camera citation is heard by an employee of the Department of Motor Vehicles, not a judge.

Article Excerpt:
District of Columbia - Proposed Rulemakings - Department of Motor Vehicles -
18 DMCR 1, 3 - 4, 8, 10

E. Chapter 10, PROCEDURES FOR ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS, Section 1035 is amended as follows:

1) Section 1035 is renamed "AUTOMATED TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT".

2) Subsection 1035.3 is amended by striking the phrase "in the upper" and inserting "or T on the" in its place.

3) Subsection 1035.4 is repealed.

4) Subsection 1035.5 is amended by inserting the following image, to be included at the end of the subsection:

5) New subsections 1035.6 through 1035.11 are added as follows:

1035.6 An owner who answers a notice of infraction by submitting an affidavit furnishing the name, address, and driver's license number of the person claimed to have had custody, care, or control of the vehicle at the time of the infraction shall remain liable for the infraction if the Director or a hearing examiner determines that any or all of the information furnished is inaccurate.

1035.7 For the purposes of Sect. 1035.6, any notice sent to the address provided in the affidavit and returned as undeliverable shall establish that the owner submitted inaccurate information.

1035.8 For the purposes of Sect. 1035.6, any driver's license number submitted that, based on the records of the Department of Motor Vehicles or information in the Washington Area Law Enforcement System, does not match the name provided shall establish that the owner submitted inaccurate information.

1035.9 A respondent determined to have submitted inaccurate information shall received written notice of the determination and be afforded an opportunity to amend their answer, either by admitting the offense through the payment of the
applicable fine or by denying the infraction and requesting a hearing. A respondent may not submit any further affidavits as part of their answer, but may seek to demonstrate at the hearing, by a preponderance of evidence, that another had custody, care, or control of the vehicle at the time of the infraction or any other available defense.

1035.10 The notice issued under 1035.9 shall constitute a new notice of infraction, which shall be answered in accordance with the time periods applicable to the initial notice of infraction.

1035.11 Nothing in this section shall preclude the Department from requesting that the respondent be criminally prosecuted for perjury.
Source: Loophole in camera tickets closed (Washington Times, 2/14/2005)

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