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Just burn my tax dollars rather than spending them on this
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One of the many circles of hell Rebecca has to traverse in her redemption from the unfortunate incident that involved alcohol is in the form of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (which apparently adheres to the state motto "We Only Hire The Best and Brightest (Relatives)"). PennDOT has started suspending the driver's licenses of those who are charged with underage drinking, which actually makes a tremendous amount of sense. That is where the use of any brain cells ended in the application of this process.

In Becca's case, she is too young to even have a driver's permit, much less a license. Imagine my surprise when she received a letter from PennDOT informing her that license was being suspended as of August 10th and she had to pay a $25 fee to have it reinstated at the end of the 90 day suspension. There was a driver's license number on the form letter, along with a birth date that indicated she is now 17 (I know she acts more like 25 than 15, but it was damn presumptuous of the state to just up and change her birthdate).

Thinking that this was a case of identity confusion and that some other poor teen who did not have a criminal record was going to have her license suspended, I called the number on the form to inform them that they must have the wrong person. After about 47 voice prompts (for Estonian, press 57...) he woman on the phone informed me that they did indeed have the correct person and:

1) Was I sure her birthdate wasn't really two years and two months earlier than stated on her birth certificate? I somewhat acidly let her know that I was there at the birth and was VERY sure I knew her correct date of birth.

2) If her birthdate had been incorrectly recorded on the citation, Becca had grounds to go back to the court and claim that it wasn't actually her at the party and they must have the wrong person for the offense. What????

3) There is no way to change her incorrect DOB until she is eligible to get a permit and we take her birth certificate to the driver's license center. I was waiting for the superbly trained customer service representative to suggest that she could just leave it as-is and be able to start (legally) drinking two years early.

4) The suspension will indeed take place now. Before she has her license or permit. So the thing that she doesn't have is being taken away from her. I had to slap my forehead a few times to understand this idiocy and I still didn't really believe it.

Being in a state of shock that such supreme stupidity could be the case, I waited a day and called back to see if I could rattle another representative's cage. The second woman I reached indicated that the story was accurate, "as silly as it seems," to quote her. So, despite what the people at the court told us - that her permit would be delayed by 90 days - the state will actually suspend a nonexistent license for the next 90 days. I told Becca to be sure not to drive until October. Or at least not with any open containers of alcohol. This isn't Texas, after all.

[Bitter-voiced end notes - This is the type of thing that pushes some people over the edge to become anti-government anti-tax nutjob militia members. My disgust for politicians will be satisfied if all the Pennsylvania legislature assholes who voted for the clandestine self-pay-raise last summer are booted from office. And, of course, if Rick Santorum is embarrassed in his bid for re-election.]

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