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Maria Shriver and Parking Rules Do Not Mix

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By Kamika Dunlap on November 25, 2009 11:50 AM

It's clear that good laws don't make good citizens.

As of late, First Lady of California Maria Shriver has been caught several times in violation of traffic and parking rules.

She's been caught on video parking in the redzone, in addition to being caught three times driving while talking on a handset.

Days after her Governator hubby found the red zone perfectly suitable to the interior of his Porsche, California's first lady (or at least her Highway Patrol bodyguard) decided parking meters don't really apply to her or her Escalade.

Celebrity web site TMZ.com spotted the latest Shriver parking violation.

She was caught on video walking out of Peet's Coffee in Santa Monica when a parking enforcement officer noticed her meter had expired.

The web site reports that the officer pulled out his trusty "auto-cite" device to ticket the vehicle, when suddenly one of Shriver's Highway Patrol bodyguards ran up to him, flashed his badge at the officer and talked him out of the ticket.

Needless to say, the job of First Lady has its perks.

The officer issued Shriver a warning and no ticket for parking her gas guzzler at an expired meter.

A Santa Monica police official told TMZ that writing a parking ticket is "discretionary." He also said if Maria was on official business she'd be exempt from parking laws, provided she had a placard on the dash.

No placard was in site. Any "official business" the First Lady was conducting must have included the need to pause and eat a muffin in the car while still parked in front of the meter.

The video also showed Shriver driving away from the parking meter without her seatbelt on.

If you aren't the Governor or his wife, taking chances on parking laws could soon prove expensive for Southern California drivers.

Facing the worst city budget crisis in decades, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is gambling on parking meters -- and hopes the money will be used to expand the LAPD and preserve other city services.