Celebrities, They Get Traffic Tickets Just Like Us

by ARLnow.com September 24, 2010 at 9:02 am 6,339 24 Comments

Feeling down because you just got lit up by one of Arlington County’s finest for making an illegal right turn on red? Don’t worry, you’re in good company.

Even the rich, influential and famous get traffic tickets in Arlington County. And it seems there’s no limit to how small the infraction or how well-known the offender.

The good doctor Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams — yes, the guy who  Robin Williams portrayed in a movie — was stopped for going 44 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone last December. Dr. Adams, a north Arlington resident who travels the world dressed as a clown to bring joy to sick children, paid the fine a week later.

Washington Capitals players practice and often live in Arlington. Thus it’s not surprise that a few players have had their sweet rides stopped by Johnny Law.

Earlier this year Caps forward Nicklas Backstrom was stopped for “failure to obtain a county decal within 30 days.” Charges were eventually dropped.

Two years ago another Caps forward, Alexander Semin, was stopped for having no front license plate, an unlawful window tint, and a child restraint violation. Earlier this year, he was stopped again for having no front plate.

Somewhat surprisingly, Arlington resident and sports car owner Alexander Ovechkin appears to have a squeaky clean record in the county.

Politically-influential, famous-for-DC types are unable to get away with minor infractions, however.

In particular, Washington Post columnists seem to be a bit forgetful when it comes to their cars. Eugene Robinson was stopped last January for an inspection sticker that expired one month prior. He paid the $81 fine two months later.

David Broder has been convicted of five traffic violations in the past two years. Charges against Broder have included speeding, an HOV violation and driving without a license.

  • ArlRes

    “stopped for failure to obtain a county detail within 30 days” – What is a county detail?

    I’m assuming you mean decal, i.e. car tax decal — can cops stop you for that? I guess that’s why they have put all those license plate readers on cop cars. Revenue generation / big brother™

    • Lou

      I’ve driven through many decal checkpoints in Arlington. Usually on Saturday’s during peak drive time. They’ll pull you for county sticker or inspection sticker.

    • yes, decal

  • G

    You have 60 days to get the county decal

  • OG

    How do the cops know if you live in the state of virgina or not if you have an out of state car and drivers license? ie how can one tell if one is vacationing or has residency in the state/county? i ask because i regularly see plates from states as far away as alaska/hawaii.. and where are these decal checkpoints usually?

  • ArlRes

    Decal checkpoint sounds unconstitutional to me.

    • Lou

      Are they much different than HOV checkpoints?

      • ArlRes

        Yes. I don’t recall a tax being required to drive on the streets.

        To drive on I-66 during HOV hours you must have at least 2 persons in the car.

        • Max D.

          So you want everything to be free? Money has to come from somewhere. Taxes pay for the streets. If you don’t want to pay those taxes, don’t drive.

        • Lou

          What about the daily neighborhood patrols that write you the same ticket if your car is parked on the street with improper decals? Is that unconstitutional?

    • el fat kid

      reminds me of my youth in East Berlin.

      HOV checkpoints are more just ‘lookouts’ – normally just someone watching… decal checkpoints you are actually stopped.

      • Pic

        In my 6 years of living in Arlington I’ve never seen or heard of a decal checkpoint.

        • Lou

          I have not seen many recently. They used to have them on George Mason, southbound after you cleared the 66 bridge. No way to see them and avoid. Falls Church used to do them on Roosevelt just after the last light before Wilson. I also saw one out off Great Falls near 123.

          They didn’t stop people, just narrowed traffic down to one lane and made you drive slow enough so they could see your stuff.

          • cops and stuff

            You haven’t had fun until you’ve shown a uniformed cop your stuff.

  • JamesE

    I still haven’t been stopped for no front plate, poor Semin.

  • Rich

    Officers stand on the side of the road or narrow traffic down to observe ANY violation. You can use the scary term “checkpoint” but the constitution will always allow the police to stand, observe a violation, and stop a vehicle.

    • Kevin

      Two favorite spots:

      1.) On Columbia Pike, after 395, under the Washington blvd bridge

      2.) At the Pentagon, either merging from Columbia Pike on Washington Blvd or merging on to 110 from Washington Blvd.

      • South Arlington

        Don’t forget on the Fairfax Dr. on-ramp to I-66 W in Ballston. They love sitting there a few times a month.

      • And Eastbound onto Glebe Road – primarily for HOV cheaters

  • Maxine Lunn

    Yeah – I love Ovie but his not getting tickets means there’s more than one hockey fan on the force.

  • TGEoA

    Screw the tax dodgers

  • ao

    Is this actual news? people getting pulled over 2 years ago?

  • Me

    Celebrities still get treated far better than the rest of us do when it comes to breaking the law.

  • Pingback: WaPo Columnists Break Traffic Laws (Just Like Us) - FishbowlDC()


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