Michigan Court Issues Absurd Ruling Against Man Ticketed For Warming Up Car In Driveway

Illustration for article titled Michigan Court Issues Absurd Ruling Against Man Ticketed For Warming Up Car In Driveway

Michigan is cold as all hell. And if you’ve got an older vehicle that doesn’t have a remote start feature, and you don’t feel like freezing your butt off in a frostbite-inducing interior, the traditional solution is to quickly start your car up, and leave it idling for a bit. But in Michigan, one man received a $128 ticket for doing just that in his own driveway, and yesterday, The Detroit News says, that man tried challenging the citation. In a total bullshit ruling, he lost.


The news site says Judge Marco Santia made the ruling out of consideration for “public interest,” after Roseville Police Chief James Berlin argued that a thief could have stolen the vehicle.

Is Berlin wrong? Of course not; there’s always that chance that someone could take a vacant, idling car. But when people leave their vehicles idling—whether it’s in their own driveways, or in parking lots—they understand that risk.


More importantly, let’s not forget the real issue, here—it’s not people leaving cars idling in driveways, it’s thieves. The notion that you should be punished because there are bad people out there yearning to jack your stuff is just nuts. What’s next from here? Will the police go around from house to house checking for unlocked doors? Will they require us to never leave anything in our backyards or to put up fences with locks? Will we have to put locks on our mailboxes? This could be a slippery slope.

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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Brother Seamus A. Dickman

“What were you thinking? You could have been robbed!”

*takes $128 from your wallet*