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Officer Antoine says: Sign your ticket; it’s a promise to appear

Peter from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, I’ve been in Texas almost two years now and you were one of the first people I became familiar with (at least your name)! Upon my arrival, I was warned about this police officer in Port Arthur named Antoine, and to stay off Ninth Avenue. Of course I was fearful of encountering you but I’ve come to know you in a different light through the newspaper and your weekly column. I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting you in person and I’ve come to my own conclusion that you’re not the person whom I once thought you were, but just someone that is serious about his job. Officer Antoine, I was debating with a friend about not signing a ticket that was issued by a police officer. It’s not that she refused to sign the ticket, but the police officer somehow must have omitted to acquire her signature because it’s not on the ticket. Officer Antoine, is the ticket still valid if she didn’t sign it?

Answer: Good question, Peter. I’m grateful to The News for allowing the Port Arthur Police Department this continuing weekly bridge to our community. I’m told this Ask A Cop column has been a great educational and informative tool that has somehow reshaped the driving behavior of many motorists in Port Arthur, as well as Southeast Texas. Peter, when someone is issued a citation, commonly known as a ticket, by a police officer in the state of Texas, the usual procedure is to have the person being issued the citation to sign it as a promise to appear before the court on or before a specified date and time. If there was no signature on your friend’s citation, warn her it’s still a valid document, and she should address the court about the charge(s) on the citation. The court will normally subpoena any person who received a citation that doesn’t have an accused violator’s signature, and hasn’t appeared by the court date listed on the citation. Lastly, you’re more than welcome to travel any road in Port Arthur you desire if you abide by the law. The “Stay off Ninth Avenue” mentality is for speeders!

Lino from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, I recently lost my whole wallet and I’ve searched everywhere and can’t find it. Now, I guess I don’t have to tell you that my Texas Driver License was in my lost wallet. I am a hard-working man who works every day, and don’t have much down time to get my license from the driver license department. My question is, since I do have a good driver license that’s not expired, can I drive my car until I get my license?

Answer: Good question, Lino! Boy oh boy, can I relate to losing a wallet. I believe growing up I lost my wallet every month, and now that I’m grown, losing things have only gotten worse. It’s not me losing my wallet, today it’s more like keys, cellphone, glasses, train of thought… Lino, you advised you are a current Texas Driver License holder who is no longer in possession of the license. Well, I’m sorry to inform you you’re in violation of state law if you operate your vehicle without your license in your possession. Anytime you drive a vehicle on the roads of Texas, you must have your Driver License with you no matter the distance you’re traveling. So many motorists say they were just going to make a quick run, but wind up encountering law enforcement and can’t identify themselves, or provide a Driver License when demanded by law enforcement officers.


Shelia from Nederland asks: Officer Antoine, my 85 years of age mother and I just love your article Ask A Cop. My mother recently forgot to put her current insurance card in her vehicle and was quite shaken to drive without the current card. I wasn’t quite sure if she would be violating the law if she couldn’t show her insurance card either. So I said, “Mom, we always reading everybody else’s question, let’s ask Officer Antoine our own question?” Is it illegal to drive a vehicle with an expired insurance card?

Answer: Good question Shelia! I appreciate you and your Mom supporting this column. It’s you and many, many, many other readers that have kept this column alive for over seven years. My mom was my biggest supporter. I remember she would cut out and save every article, and tuned in to every live broadcast on The Breeze from the beginning. But today, thanks to Hurricane Harvey, all those clippings were taken away. Shelia, today you are required to present a current insurance card when requested by a police officer. But today, if your card is expired, most law enforcement agencies are connected with the state insurance system, and are able to instantly tell whether or not the insurance on your vehicle is current. Officers should not issue a citation to anyone if they can prove there is current insurance coverage through the system.

Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop Live, on KSAP 96.9 FM, “The Breeze” radio station, every Tuesday from 1-2 p.m. Tune in and listen as Officer Antoine discusses in detail the newly released Ask A Cop article that was published in The News. You can also tune in via internet at www.ksapthebreeze.org. Feel free to call in and ask your question live to Officer Antoine at 409-982-0247.

Remember to email your questions to Rickey.Antoine@portarthurtx.gov or call 409-983-8673 and leave a message or voice mail question, or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can Ask A Cop!