Dumb Illinois Law - You Can Get A Ticket In Your Driveway

Do you have non-working vehicles out in your driveway or yard? Are they not registered to operate on public highways? Guess what… you could be breaking the law and receive a ticket in your own driveway, in Illinois. While Illinois law allows you to keep unregistered vehicles on your private property not every Illinois village code does. In the Village of Round Lake Beach, the law states that it is illegal to store vehicles on private land unless the vehicle is registered for use on public highways in the state of Illinois. So if you live in a village, within a state, which law stands? One man received a ticket for the two vehicles parked in his own driveway and went to court to find out.

He argued the “municipal law exceeded the village’s home rule authority under the Illinois Constitution.” His debate lost and the ticket was found to be valid. The village was not over reaching in its attempt to crack down on crime and other issues that arise when people leave unregistered cars in open air properties; break ins, theft and other personal property damage crimes rise in neighborhoods that have broken down cars throughout yards and drive ways. With this as the Village’s debate point, the court ordered in its favor.

This isn't the first case I've seen like this.  You can get a DUI while sitting in your driveway even if you aren't in the car.  While State law generally trumps (ugh) local law, in many cases the State doesn't say it has to work that way.  So that State can set up rules that essentially say you can do X unless your local government says you can't.  This is known as home rule power.

What I always wonder is who has the time and money to contest these things?  Even if you "win" you really lose because of the amount you spend on the case in dollars and hours.  I get fighting things out of principle, but when you take the emotion out of it, it just doesn't make sense.  That's why so many bad laws go unchallenged and why laws like this one can be on the books and get enforced for years without anyone fighting it because in the end most people decide it's not worth their time.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Leave a comment