News

Danica Patrick Ignored Scottsdale Photo Enforcement Ticket and Escaped Fine

You may have heard about Scottsdale resident Danica Patrick today, because it's big news when hot, young female race car drivers get speeding tickets.

We were going to pass along this tidbit to you with little more than a smokin' picture of Danica, 26, (at left) from her official Web site. Then we looked up Patrick's other speeding tickets on the Arizona Supreme Court's useful court info search site and found an interesting one from 2005.

It seems this latest speeding ticket is Patrick's sixth in three years, and three of those tickets were from photo enforcement sites in Scottsdale. The IndyCar star and Godaddy.com spokeschick paid two of the photo tickets, but blew off a third.

As New Times has taken pains to explain to its readers, mailed photo enforcement tickets aren't valid in the eyes of the law until they are properly served to the recipient. If you don't waive your right to proper service and mail the ticket back, and if the ticket is never served -- which usually requires hand-delivery -- the citation is completely dismissed 120 days after it was filed with the court.

That's just what happened to Danica Patrick's ticket, and she faced no further consequences for it. We have no idea if she intentionally blew off the ticket or simply was out cranking laps on some racetrack while the process server was knocking in vain at her home. But the result was the same -- no fine.

Patrick -- an admitted speedaholic on and off the track -- has probably talked her way out of a few tickets from police officers, too. But her experience with Arizona's 120-rule for civil violations is something everyone can learn from as the state deploys more photo enforcement cameras. -- Ray Stern

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.