SunPass mistake results in suspended driver's license - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

SunPass mistake results in suspended driver's license

Posted: Updated:
The state admits it dropped the ball, but 51 year old Wes Diebold lost his license over a 2 dollar mistake. The state admits it dropped the ball, but 51 year old Wes Diebold lost his license over a 2 dollar mistake.

Looking for a job is tough enough these days but how much tougher does having a suspended driver's license make things?

51 year old Wes Diebold doesn't know for sure if his suspended license was a roadblock, heck he didn't even know his license was suspended.

Seems Diebold drove through a SunPass electronic toll lane last July on his way to Tampa International Airport from his home in Lecanto.

He didn't have a transponder to pay electronically.

So after she dropped him off, Diebold's wife stopped at a toll booth on the Veterans Expressway and explained to a collector what happened.

He said she was given an enveloped with an address.

Three days later Diebold wrote a $2 dollar check to the Florida Department of Transportation to pay for the toll.

"I assumed everything was fine and dandy," Diebold said.

Wrong!

Six months later a letter arrived warning Diebold the state would suspend his license unless he paid off a ticket at the Hillsborough County Clerk of the Court office. The $2 dollar toll he paid in Jul,July snow balled into a $217 dollar ticket

"I went to the bank, got a copy of the cashed check, faxed it to the Department of Transportation and they, the Department of Transportation told me everything was fine," he said.

Not fine enough.

In April when he tried to renew his tags, it was surprise time.

"The lady at the tag office tells me my license is suspended. Now my blood is instantly boiling," Diebold said. And he had been driving on a suspended license for two months.

Diebold contacted the Clerk of the Courts, only now it wanted $270 to reinstate the license.

He contacted 8 On Your Side.

This isn't the first time something like this has occurred.

79 year old Frank Mercurio of Brooksville sent a check to cover a 50 cent toll his wife went through in April 2012.

Cash collections at the Florida Turnpike Enterprise didn't square things with SunPass. Mercurio also discovered he'd lost his license.

8 On Your Side sent paperwork that showed Mercurio had in fact paid, to Christa Deason at Florida Turnpike Enterprise.

"They've got to do something to improve it," Mercurio said.

Within days, Mercurio's license was reinstated.

During the last 12 months, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles says 69,951 persons saw their licenses suspended by the courts for failure to pay a required toll.

Frank Mercurio was one, Wes Diebold is another.

We contacted the Turnpike Enterprise in the Diebold matter, looking for answers.

Deason said the address on the check with which Diebold paid FDOT did not match any address that the Department of Motor Vehicles had in its files, so the state couldn't connect the payment to Diebold. Diebold however printed his tag number of the check.

Deason said the Turnpike Enterprise dropped the ball in January because it did not contact the Clerk of the Court to ask for a dismissal of the case.

"All of these other departments that I contact weren't stepping up and helping out and you guys did," Diebold said.

Within two days of our contacting the Turnpike Enterprise, Diebold received notice his license was reinstated.

"It's 8 On Your Side, I don't mean to say it that way but I felt that you were one my side, that means a lot," he said.

Now when he fills out those job applications, Wes Diebold knows he is telling the truth when they ask if he has a valid driver's license.

 

 

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Mold takes over St. Pete condo, creeps into neighbors' homes

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:48:06 GMT
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
    Josephine Ramos is literally sick about the toxic black mold growing in the St. Petersburg condominium beside hers. She's been feeling ill for months with headaches and breathing problems. Recently, she had peak inside the condo next doors and couldn't believe her eyes.
  • Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Lakeland neighborhood has continuing water problems, asks 8OYS for help

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:03:34 GMT
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
    Some Lakeland residents are tired of wondering whether they'll have water at home. Over the past month, they tell 8 On Your Side that they've lost water with no warning at least five times. And what's worse, the water stays off for up to eight hours at a time
  • Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    Abercrombie dropping logo to boost brand

    Friday, August 29 2014 7:15 AM EDT2014-08-29 11:15:46 GMT
    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing. Shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere. 
    The Abercrombie & Fitch logo has lost the power it once wielded, so the struggling teen retailer plans to strip off the once-prized logo from its clothing. Shares tumbled Thursday after it reported weak sales as more teens shop elsewhere. 
  • NewsMore>>

  • Down power line stalls Gulf Blvd. traffic

    Down power line stalls Gulf Blvd. traffic

    Saturday, August 30 2014 8:49 PM EDT2014-08-31 00:49:01 GMT
    Severe weather in Redington Beach has forced the shutdown of a portion of Gulf Blvd.Pinellas County authorities closed northbound and southbound Gulf Blvd. from 161st Ave. to 164th Ave. due to down power lines.Sheriffs's officials are asking motorists to avoid the area.
    Severe weather in Redington Beach has forced the shutdown of a portion of Gulf Blvd.Pinellas County authorities closed northbound and southbound Gulf Blvd. from 161st Ave. to 164th Ave. due to down power lines.Sheriffs's officials are asking motorists to avoid the area.
  • Buccaneers get to 53-man roster limit

    Buccaneers get to 53-man roster limit

    Saturday, August 30 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-08-31 00:08:37 GMT
    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 53-man roster now is in place. On Saturday, the team waived six players and released two others to reach the NFL player limit. The Bucs made the following roster moves today, according to team officials. ...
    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 53-man roster now is in place. On Saturday, the team waived six players and released two others to reach the NFL player limit. The Bucs made the following roster moves today, according to team officials. ...
  • Convicted felon charged with murder in Brooksville mass shooting

    Convicted felon charged with murder in Brooksville mass shooting

    Saturday, August 30 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-08-30 23:01:59 GMT
    Mason III, 42, has an arrest record that goes back more than 20 years. Mason III, 42, has an arrest record that goes back more than 20 years.
    A career criminal with an arrest record that goes back more than two decades is facing three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in connection with a mass shooting that occurred Friday night in Brooksville.As George June Mason III attempted to flee the crime scene just as law enforcement arrived he was struck by a pick-up truck.
    A career criminal with an arrest record that goes back more than two decades is facing three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in connection with a mass shooting that occurred Friday night in Brooksville.As George June Mason III attempted to flee the crime scene just as law enforcement arrived he was struck by a pick-up truck.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.