On Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at approximately 1:28 pm, deputies assigned to the screening station at the Washington County Justice Center observed a subject, who was later identified as a 19-year-old Town of Erin man, pull a vehicle into the temporary loading zone area in front of the Justice Center.
The subject then exited the car and entered the Justice Center. Deputies confronted the subject about parking in a temporary loading area and leaving the vehicle unattended.
There were ample other parking stalls in the lot, and deputies also carefully scrutinize unattended vehicles that appear out of place. The subject immediately returned to his vehicle and pulled the car into a marked disabled parking space. The deputies noticed the driver rummaging through the glove box for some period of time before he placed a disabled placard on the rear-view mirror.
After the subject entered the Justice Center, the deputy approached the car and noticed the placard appeared to be altered. The year of expiration was clearly altered to read “16.” The deputy confirmed through Department of Transportation records that the placard was actually expired since 2003. The placard was not renewed due to the death of the rightful owner of the placard in the year 2000.
After the subject returned to the vehicle, the deputies made contact with him again. The driver acknowledged the placard was altered to appear to be valid. The operator stated the placard came with the car when the family bought it. The deputies subsequently confiscated the placard and it will be destroyed.
When the operator was advised of that, he stated, “My father is going to be ticked.” The driver was then issued a $264 citation for illegal use of a handicap placard.
The Wisconsin State Legislature enacted significant civil forfeitures for violating these parking restrictions. The Legislature further urges in State Statue 346.505 that every unit of government authorized to enforce the parking restrictions should do so as vigorously as possible. In this case it is the Sheriff’s Office responsibility to ensure that people who are physically disabled have clear and reasonable access to public places.