Ariel Delegol (pictured) is a junior at Clark Atlanta College who has never seen the inside of a jail—until recently. The young lady was stopped for speeding and instead of being given a ticket, the officer cuffed her and hauled her off to a county jail for having a Michigan driver’s license.
Come again? Apparently, the state of Michigan is one of six states that does not participate in the Non-Resident Violator Compact, according to WSB-TV.
The Non-Resident Violator Compact is an agreement used by states to process traffic citations across their borders. With the agreement, motorists cited for violations out-of-state have them enforced in their home state. Yet there are six states that do not take part in the NRVC—Michigan, California, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana and Alaska.
Delegol unfortunately learned the hard way that her home state of Michigan is not an NRVC participant. “He (the officer) said that me having a Michigan license is the equivalent of me not having a driver’s license at all,” Delegol said. “So, he said I’m basically driving without a license right now in the state of Georgia.”
The Atlanta police department is backing the arresting officer all the way, because he was following protocol.
Delegol says she is saddened and soured by the frightening experience telling WSB-TV, “So I got a mug shot, they fingerprinted me, everything. People were in there on drugs, drunk driving and all types of things. I’m just sitting there scared, nervous.”
Delegol’s defense attorney, Odis Williams, who spoke to the news site, says he does not think law enforcement is meted across the board equally on NRVC and feels that many officers use “discretion” in their decision-making.
Word to the wise—if you are traveling through NRVC member states, and are licensed in a non-member state, be sure to have enough cash on hand to pay bond for any traffic violations you may be stopped for and required to pay.