Beach goer fined despite paying meter for full day parking

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It was supposed to be a fun day the beach for Summerville resident Jason Leviner and his children.

“It was carrying bags and the cooler and three kids,” Leviner told News 2’s Rebecca Collett.

With all those distraction, Leviner says he didn’t realize he put his parking pass face down on the dashboard of his car.

“I bought it,” he explained. “I just stuck it in the window. I didn’t realize one side had to be up.”

When he got to his car a couple of hours later, he had a $50 ticket.

“If I had parked illegally, I wouldn’t mind. It’s the fact that I already paid,” he said of frustration about the ticket. “That’s a lot of money and a lot of hassle.”

Jason tried to resolve the issue that day by showing the parking pass to the officer who wrote the citation. She was no help, Jason said.  When he went to the police department, no one there could help him either since it was a weekend.

The News 2 I-Team took his problem to the Police Chief and the IOP Mayor.   The Isle of Palms Police Department has issued approximately 57 citations for upside down receipts in the Municipal Lots since the automated kiosks were put in place on April 23, 2016.

They told Rebecca Collett the officer could not destroy the ticket because officers are not authorized to void or dismiss citations.  It’s a policy to protect the officer and the driver.

The mayor says drivers can take disputes to the court along with proof they paid the meter fee.

“Take the citation, turn it into the Clerk of Court,” Mayor Dick Cronin explained.  “The odds are he isn’t going to pay anything.”

Jason also wanted to know if parking fines are a revenue generator for the Isle of Palms.  Through a search of the budget, the I-Team added both parking meters and parking lots.  The budget for 2016 estimates revenue of $453,000. That’s about five  percent of all the City’s revenue.

Though Jason won’t be paying the ticket from this weekend, his story is still a cautionary tale to other beach goers to read the signs around the strip and on parking passes.

“The signs are there for a reason,” Chief Thomas E. Buckhannon explained. “It’s so they can come out and enjoy the beach without running a fowl of the law.”

After all, you may want to leave the beach with a tan but not feeling burned.

Jason returned to the beach Monday where the clerk “reduced” the ticket to a warning.

He said he hopes his story will help others avoid the hassle

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