Boot season begins in Spokane

Boot season begins in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. - It's boot season in Spokane and we're not talking about fall fashion. The City of Spokane has stepped up it's efforts to collect $4 Million in unpaid parking tickets.

On Tuesday parking enforcement officers seized their first car with the boot, a Ford Excursion parked near the Spokane County Courthouse. People at the courthouse say a local defense attorney parks his vehicle in the spot, and parking enforcement officers say they are familiar with the vehicle and regularly write it tickets.

On Tuesday, instead of getting another parking ticket, that attorney got booted.

"We are actively looking for vehicles with outstanding parking tickets,four or more, that are in collection that are boot eligible," city spokesman Brian Coddington said.

In this case, the Excursion's owner doesn't have four or more unpaid tickets; he has dozens, including the ones that could be seen sitting on the floor in the back seat. To add insult to injury, even before parking enforcement officers showed up to install the boot the parking meter for the SUV had expired.

"We've had ample opportunity for people to be able to take care of these tickets," Coddington said. "We went through a 60 day amnesty program which was well publicized and people were able to take advantage of that program to pay of their tickets without additional fees and fines."

Even though the attorney makes regular trips to the Public Safety Building, where he could have easily gone to municipal court and paid his tickets, he didn't, which is why he got booted. Now he has 48 hours to settle all his tickets with a debt collection service or his Excursion gets impounded.

"If you're caught, if the boot goes on the vehicle, you've got 48 hours to pay in full before the vehicle is impounded. Each step of the way incurs additional fines and costs," Coddington said.