The D.C. police department has released preliminary statistics on the controversial practice of arresting drivers whose vehicles are unregistered or have expired registration. The numbers indicate that the practice is more widespread than previously thought, with several arrests per day on average.
In the one-year period starting Oct. 1, 2009, records indicate that 2,163 persons were arrested in the District for expired tags. In the subsequent year, ending in September, arrests declined dramatically, to 1,334.
Funny thing about numbers. The article notes that of those 3,500 people arrested, only about 250 were actually put in a jail cell. The disparity between the two numbers first evoked in me an, “Oh, well that’s not so bad” reaction. So just consider that latter number on its own: Over two years, 250 people were jailed in D.C. for having expired license plates. Absurd.