Woman fined for taking a drive during stay-at-home mandate

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Penn Live reports that a York County, Pennsylvania woman was the first person in Pennsylvania to be cited for violating Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order, according to state police.

The 19-year-old woman was given a nontraffic citation for allegedly “going for a drive” this week.

State police spokesman Ryan Tarkowski said Friday the woman initially was pulled over because of a vehicle code violation.

Troopers can use their discretion during situations to decide if a citation is warranted.

“At this time, law enforcement is focused on ensuring that residents are aware of the order and informing the public of social distance practices,” he said. “While the order is mandatory, voluntary compliance is preferred.”

Wolf issued stay-at-home orders to Allegheny and six other counties on March 23. Westmoreland residents were ordered to stay home four days later. The stay-at-home order was expanded to the entire state on Wednesday and is in effect until April 30.

She plans to fight it. This was guidance, not a mandate, and going for a drive hurts no one. The woman might have a hard time fighting it, just the same. The police were within the guidelines apparently.

The statute under which she was cited is one that was mentioned in guidance to police agencies in relation to businesses that weren’t complying with orders to close.

That statute applies to “any person who violates any of the provisions” of the governor’s orders under the Pennsylvania Disease Control and Prevention Law of 1955.

It’s a huge fine and it is carrying authoritarianism quite far, don’t you think?


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