Roseville, MI – For seven years, Nick Trupiano has been warming up his car in his driveway without any problems until the unexpected occurred one day. He went inside for two minutes and when he returned, he found a “motor vehicle unattended” ticket on his car.
The Roseville police officer wrote on the ticket “Vehicle parked in drive with keys in ignition, motor running — no one around”.
“Unattended car?” Trupiano said. “I’ve done this every day for seven years. Every person warms up their car. We live in Michigan.”
In court on Thursday, things did not go well for Trupiano when he fought the $128 ticket. His attorney, Nicholas Somberg filed a motion stating that the ordinance does not apply to one’s private driveway.
Somberg argued that if a person cannot receive a DUI while sitting in their driveway, no one should be ticketed in the same place.
The city’s attorney said the vehicle was too close to the sidewalk and that the car was “generally accessible” to the public.
According to the officer who wrote the ticket, the vehicle’s rear bumper was three feet from the sidewalk. There were no photos or video surveillance.
The judge ruled that the statue is applicable to private driveways and the ticket stands.
In the state of Michigan, leaving a vehicle running unattended with the keys inside is illegal.
However, Roseville has a specific law which goes further than the state law.