DPS: Criminal Photo Tickets Now Treated as Civil

February 19, 2010

Phoenix New Times reports that the effort (read: cost) to process criminal speeding tickets captured by photo enforcement was simply too much for DPS to handle, so DPS has made a “business decision” to improve the profit margin of the beleaguered automated ticketing program by treating criminal violations the same as civil. For those familiar with the rights bestowed upon all citizens by our founders, yes, this is yet another assault on the federal and Arizona state constitutions which have been abandoned in the quest to raise revenue for the state.

Arizona constitution, Article 2, Section 13 states:

No law shall be enacted granting to any citizen, class of citizens, or corporation other than municipal, privileges or immunities which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens or corporations.

As Justice Keagan and others have repeatedly point out, photo enforcement creates a class of citizens (those receiving criminal speeding tickets from automated ticketing machines) who are treated differently than another class of citizens (those who receive tickets from live officers). This was always the case with civil speed violations. For civil speeding tickets, the difference is the fine amount and assessment of license points. For criminal tickets now, the difference is the entire classification of the offense, as well as fine amount and license points. That doesn’t sound like equal protection, does it?

And while we’re at it…

Did you know that your state legislators are immune to photo enforcement while the legislature is in session? That’s right! The state constitution exempts all lawmakers from civil prosecution while they are in session.

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