After reading the letter from your reader John Gaffney titled “Ticketing Racket” [“Don’t Tow Me Away,” 10/01/09], I couldn’t help but respond. I have known for some time now that cities nationwide are stealing from the hardworking taxpayers through ticketing scams and overblown “fees,” but recently, after receiving an illegal U-turn ticket (while driving a taxi and helping a stranded, heavily intoxicated young lady get home safely on Fiesta weekend!), I found a document that shows just how overblown these fines really are. It is known as the Bail Schedule and can be found at the Santa Barbara Superior Court Web site.( sbcourts.org/general_info/BailSchedule/ ).
I hope after taking a couple minutes to browse the document, you will see just how badly the city and county are stealing from you and me. According to the bail schedule, the base fine for my infraction is $35, however after the “additional fees” of $225, my fine hits $260. That is more than seven times the base fine! For a standard DUI, they really rake in the dough: The base fine is $480 and the total fine is $2,260! The next time they announce another DUI checkpoint, it is not about keeping us safe, it is about revenue. This is theft, plain and simple. The city leaders have turned our police force into a cash-collection squad, especially during times of decreasing revenues. - Jason P. Becker