AAA Mid-Atlantic: Majority of drivers who fight D.C. tickets win

WASHINGTON — You might be surprised how many drivers successfully challenge tickets they receive in the District of Columbia.

“More than 70 percent of persons with moving violations tickets who took those cases to court won,” says John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s manager of public and government affairs.

In fiscal 2015, 55 percent of adjudicated parking tickets in D.C. were dismissed. One in five red-light camera and speed camera tickets was challenged successfully.

“The moral is — take the day off,  have the evidence, and go to court and state your case,” said Townsend.

He stressed how important it is to get moving violations dismissed.

“Unlike parking tickets and speed-camera tickets, those tickets can go on your driving record  –in  terms of points,” Townsend says.  Depending upon the infraction, a moving violation can stay on a person’s driving record for up to three years.

Despite the success so many drivers find when challenging D.C. tickets, relatively few actually do it.

Of the more than 2.6 million tickets that go to drivers in D.C. each year, Townsend said only 189,128 traffic and parking tickets were challenged and adjudicated in D.C. during fiscal 2015.

He calls that number “infinitesimally small.”

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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