|Published:||Jul 06, 2010 3:55 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 06, 2010 12:55 AM EDT|
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - A Port Charlotte woman is fighting to stay out of jail, after getting a ticket for riding her bicycle without a driver's license.
"One for driving on a suspended and the other is failure to register a motor vehicle, " said Linda Hofmann. She admits she's made mistakes in the past.
"Suspended in Arkansas for DUIs."
So for the past two years, to get to work legally without a car, she's relied on a bicycle, equipped with a small motor for assistance because of a heart condition.
"It is a weedeater, a small weedeater," Hofmann explained. "I'm 3 1/2 to four miles from work. I can't get there, twice a day, there and back..."
Last week, a deputy stopped her on the bike.
"He said he didn't see me pedaling, so he pulled me over."
The ticket says she needed to register as a moped, even though the ticket also labels it as a "Huffy bicycle," and the deputy allowed her to continue riding it after the ticket.
WINK News discovered Florida law says it's not a moped if it can't reach speeds of 30 miles per hour. Bicycles are allowed a helper motor, with travel up to 20 miles per hour.
We followed Hofmann on the bike and unofficially clocked her top speed around that 20 mark.
"I checked into them," Hofmann said. "I went into the DMV, they told me it was considered a bicycle."
Now, Hofmann will have to prove her story to a judge next week, but she's worried her past will get in the way of trying to do the right thing.
"I've been in trouble. I could go to prison," Hofmann said. "And this is why I'm riding it, so I can avoid being in trouble."
Learn more about Florida's motor vehicle laws: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=Ch0316/ch0316.htm
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