By Alex McVeigh
A Reston man learned the expensive consequences of tollbooth ignorance this week after a court date with the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Jason Bourcier doesn't deny that he rode the Dulles Toll Road nightly without paying for his commute from Reston to Washington more than three years ago when he was looking for work.
He told NBC Washington that a friend advised him that when the toll booths were unmanned after 11:30 p.m., you could use the road without paying.
His friend was wrong.
And Bourcier has the $200,000 toll bill to prove it.
This week, VDOT took Bourcier to court because his bill had ballooned from $440 to more than $200,000, including late fees and interest. They reached a settlement and agreed on a payment plan.
“They provided me with a stack of summonses that was 12 inches high, and me and my lawyers, the best that we could do was $40,000,” he told the station. “Another kicker is they put me on a payment plan for $150 a month.”
Bourcier, 33, is also on the hook for another $55,000 in interest, bringing his amount to a number he figures he’ll be paying off until his late 80s.
He told NBC Washington he’s learned two lessons from this experience.
“One would be for state legislature to take another look at the fines and fees that they are assessing the taxpayers,” he said. “The other would be for me, and that would be don’t mess with E-ZPass."