And the Tortoise Wins the Case

Too-slow driver fights the law, wins on technicality

By Jane Watrel
|  Wednesday, Nov 4, 2009  |  Updated 5:12 PM EDT
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Day in Court for Maryland Man Ticketed for Driving Too Slowly

NBCWashington.com

Bonstrom contends he was pulled over before reaching this 65 mph zone.

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Day in Court for Maryland Man Ticketed for Driving Too Slowly

Erik Bonstrom gets his chance to fight an $80 ticket for driving too slowly on Route 50.
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A Crofton, Md., man wanted to get a ticket for driving too slow cleared from his record and he succeeded -- on a technicality.

When he was ticketed in July for driving 58 mph in a 65 mph zone on Route 50 in Prince George's County, Erik Bonstrom insisted he was pulled over before the 65 mph sign.

It cost Erik Bonstrom a morning off work and an attorney, but he successfully beat that $80 ticket Tuesday. And nothing tastes as sweet as being right.

"It was a frivolous ticket," Bonstrom said. "It was a 55 zone, and I wanted to fight it just to get it off my record. I have a clean driving record and I didn’t want anything like this to blemish it."

In court, the Maryland State Police trooper who ticketed Bonstrom admitted he based his ticket on his patrol car's speedometer, but he couldn't prove the speedometer was correctly calibrated. Point, winner.

"The trooper was in someone else's cruiser when he wrote the citation and didn’t have the verification of the speed calibration card with him today in court, so he didn’t have evidence of what Mr. Bonstrom’s speed was at the moment and couldn’t proceed," said David Weinstein, Bonstrom's attorney.

Good enough for Bonstrom.

"The trooper said he didn’t have his calibration card, and I’ll take that," he said. "My main goal was to get this ticket dismissed, and that’s exactly what happened."

Maryland State Police stand by the ticket despite today's result.

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