Chilly justice: Michigan man ticketed for warming up car loses case

(Nick Taylor/Facebook)
(Nick Taylor/Facebook)

ROSEVILLE, MI (WCMH/AP) — Warming up your car in the driveway might be a Michigan winter tradition, but a judge says it’s not legal in a Detroit suburb if no one’s behind the wheel.

Nick Taylor challenged a $125 ticket in court Thursday and lost. His lawyer, Nicholas Somberg, says a Roseville ordinance against unattended running vehicles shouldn’t apply to driveways.

But Judge Marco Santia says the law is in the public interest.

Taylor got attention in January when he posted a photo of the ticket on Facebook. The post was shared more than 6,000 times and garnered more than 5,000 comments.

Roseville Police Chief James Berlin has defended the ticket. He says a thief could have stolen Taylor’s car.

In Ohio, if you’re caught starting your car to let it warm up and then heading back inside, you could also face misdemeanor charges. And no, it doesn’t matter if your car is on private property or not.

The Ohio Revised Code reads:

No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended  without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the ignition,  effectively setting the parking brake, and, when the motor vehicle is standing upon any grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.

There are similar “no idling “laws on the books in Kentucky, Washington and Indiana.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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