Earlier this month, Nick Berlin was given a ticket for driving with a broken windshield — a violation, according to the local Adams County traffic code. Berlin understands the law is the law but was surprised when he was given no leeway by an Adams County Sheriff from just outside of Denver.
In fact, Berlin wasn’t just feeding the officer typical excuses about how he planned to get it fixed. He was literally in the parking lot of the auto repair shop where he had an appointment to do exactly that, according to the local NBC affiliate 9news.com.
“I got a ticket for something that I was close as I could be to resolving,” Berlin said. “I don’t know if he’s a no-nonsense kind of cop, but it was definitely a bummer.”
The whole ordeal started just a couple days earlier when someone threw a rock at his car that cracked the passenger side of his car’s windshield. He made an appointment the next day to get it replaced at a local shop — instead of being one of 25% of people surveyed who admitted to neglecting repairs and maintenance on their cars in the past year.
Everything was going well for Berlin on his way there until the Adams County Sherrif’s Deputy put on his lights a stone’s throw away from the shop — so close Berlin was actually pulled over in the Absolute Auto Glass shop’s parking lot.
The owner of the shop, David Sprague, was as shocked as Berlin.
“We were just standing here in our door and were ready for his appointment and all of the sudden we see a cop out there writing the guy a ticket,” Sprague said. “We were pretty astounded to think that was what happened.”
For his part Berlin claims he didn’t get angry or aggressive with the cop at all but did try to explain the situation to him in an attempt to win mercy.
The officer was not in the mood for technicalities, though. He issued him a $46 ticket for driving an “unsafe vehicle” and refused to comment on the matter to the local news outlet. A spokesperson for the department said no one would be commenting on the story and that ticketing is left to the officer’s discretion.
Berlin plans to fight the ticket in court more as a matter of principle than for the money. In fact, Sprague has already vowed to cover the fine for Berlin if he’s unsuccessful in getting it thrown out.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado commented on the matter saying it’s a part of the larger issue of officers increasingly seeing their primary role as generating revenue instead of protecting citizens.