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No E-Z Pass: Reston Man Drives Up $200,000 Tab for Road Tolls

With interest, man figures to be paying installments into his 80s.

Jason Bourcier rang up $200,000 in tolls. (Photo from NBC Washington screen grab.)
Jason Bourcier rang up $200,000 in tolls. (Photo from NBC Washington screen grab.)

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."


Scotty November 24, 2013 at 10:52 PM
@Gerald Drake: PLEASE subpoena the records. Chances are they don't have the proof or there's an error if you comb over them carefully. And DO show up to Court to dispute their findings. It pays to get an Attorney--most require no more than $100 -$200 for this kind of work: to get the records for you and to accompany you to Court if you want--but you could fight this alone. AND show up in Court --at least for the first one if there are several appointments. Against $2,000 it's well worth it, imho. MOST people don't dispute these kinds of fines even when they know the fines are wrong which is why these States keep doing it and getting away with it. FTR I helped my husband fight a bad radar gun speed trap years ago even though he didn't think it was worth fighting. He was not speeding and knew it, but the officer was very intimidating. To me it was the principle of the thing. So I studied everything I could--went to court with him, asked the right questions and won. The only case that particular officer ever lost.
Scotty November 24, 2013 at 10:58 PM
@Tom Long: Come on. Do you SERIOUSLY think it's logical and fair to charge someone over TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS! (let the enormity of that amount sink into your brain for a moment) on an owed amount of $440? Give me a break! Even the IRS --when certain tax payers owe MILLIONS!-- are willing to 'forgive' huge chunks of what they owe--allowing the to pay pennies on the dollar. So someone owing $2million could end up paying $40,000 or so. And these are legitimate amounts actually owed! So this poor schlub who ran some tolls should be fined and fined and fined and charged interst upon interest until it's an amount he knows he can't possibly pay off in his entire lifetime? Let's be logical here. Charge him a normal fine. Double his $440 if you have to. Make him do some community service if you have to as well. But $220,000 is insane and usurious.
Scotty November 24, 2013 at 11:21 PM
@Julia Warren: Excuse me Julia, but do you think the entire world goes to sleep at 10p.m. Have you no knowledge that thousands of corporations have night staff? I realize you must be young not to know that people commute to and from work--in fact when I lived on Long Island, NY and commuted into NYC it took me 3 and a half hours EACH way. This meant that when I put in overtime (something I did regularly-till 8 or 9, and sometimes even later), I often got home well after midnight. That was ok--the night staff -computer specialists, etc. were just coming in to begin their shifts so I was never afraid. My guess is that he drove into Washington to interview after 5:30 --something I did in NYC for an entire 6 month period when I decided to change jobs. That was their prime interview time--after MY working hours. Many of them would set up appointments for me up until 7 or 8p.m. Ever left DC at 8-9 at night? This guy lives in Reston, Va. Maybe he'd grab dinner before getting on the road especially since he believed he didn't have to pay the toll after 11:30. Have you driven between those two Cities? There's your answer.
Bob Bruhns November 25, 2013 at 01:26 AM
Typical of our government; the punishment does not fit the crime. $200,000 for a $440 violation? Ridiculous.

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