Indiana Vanity Plates On Hold Because Cop Wants Hilarious “0ink” PlateS

A cop in Indiana has temporarily brought the state's vanity plate program to a halt while the state works out the legality of his "0ink" license plate, because people who dole out those plates aren't any fun. What's wrong with a Pig loving his fellow pigs? Just kidding coppers, please don't arrest me.

People who already have vanity plates can still renew them, but for now the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles is not approving any new ones until they understand their own regulations. In all fairness, Greenfield, Indiana policeman Rodney Vawter actually got the plates as a joke on his fellow cops (also known as "pigs," in the slang the kids are using these days) and has had them for the past three years, according to the Indy Star. Now, he's suing to get the plates back from the BMV:

The lawsuit says Vawter considers the plate’s verbal pig snort “an ironic statement of pride in his profession.”

“Corporal Vawter selected the phrase ‘oink’ for his license plate because, as a police officer who has been called ‘pig’ by arrestees, he thought it was both humorous and also a label that he wears with some degree of pride,” the lawsuit states.

But after allowing it for three years, the BMV this year told Vawter the plate was inappropriate, and cited a state statute that allows the BMV to refuse to issue a plate that officials believe carries “a connotation offensive to good taste and decency” or “would be misleading.”

I'm not sure where the law draws the line in these situations, nor why Indiana would halt its vanity plate program entirely just because of one lawsuit. Plus, there's the entirely frivolous nature of the rejection of Vawter's plate. Is it because he's a cop? Does that make it discrimination based on profession? What if he was a pig farmer? What if he just really likes a porkchop? Or what if the Indiana BMV hates bacon?

That's perhaps the scariest prospect of all.

H/t to Jon!

Image credit: Glen Bowman