Michigan does not have toll roads, which is a problem for many of the MI-based Autoblog staffers when traveling out of state. We simply don't acknowledge E-Z Pass or think all that much about toll booths, because we just don't deal with them at home, and when highway hypnosis sets in it's easy to accidentally head through an E-Z Pass barrier. To a degree, then, we're able to sympathize with a 33-year-old Washington, DC man, who was dinged for repeatedly skipping out on the toll booths.

What we can't sympathize with is the number of times he did it - 335, dating back to 2009, according to a report from The Washington Post. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates the toll road, isn't about to let him get away, either. When skipped tolls, fines and fees are taken into account, he's on the hook for $202,000. The man, Jason Bourcier, claims it was bad info that led him to a six-figure bill.

According to the report, a local NBC affiliate reported that "a friend told him when the toll booths were unmanned after 11:30 p.m., you could use the road without paying." Bourcier himself told USA Today that he asked a toll attendant "if the cameras were on when there were no attendants on duty. He said they weren't. So I started going through without paying tolls."

Negligence is not, however, a defense. Thankfully for Bourcier, prosecutors and the MWAA were willing to work out a deal - Bourcier will plead guilty to 70 counts of failing to pay a toll, and will be responsible for $40,000 in fines plus $56,000 in interest and fees. As part of the deal, he'll pay $150 per month for the next 54 years.


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  • 58 Comments
      ZS
      • 1 Year Ago
      Can we talk about how there's a fricken VEHICROSS in the picture!?
      mjk258
      • 1 Year Ago
      He claims he was misinformed? Bulls^&*..... that may have been legit, until he got the first notice... after that no way.... may sound excessive, but his abuse of the system is excessive... road cost money to build and maintain......
        andy34741
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mjk258
        agreed! I have a battery operated O-Pass transponder in my car from Orlando, and after the battery died I got a citation in the mail from Miami-Dade showing the date, time AND PHOTO of my car, they wanted the toll plus $45... I was able to show I had an account with O-Pass and they charged it to my account. I then got a newer transponder that beeps when the state takes my money. This guy knew he was being a tool, and he's paying for it now (literally)
          Eduardo Maal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @andy34741
          I agree! I want to know how this guy justifies ignoring all the notices he got before this got out of hand. Before they took his car. I still think the amount is excessive, and he's as foolish for accepting that deal.
          Eduardo Maal
          • 1 Year Ago
          @andy34741
          Why did I get a -1 on my first comment?
        Tad (ScientologyDad)
        @mjk258
        DC resident here. When you go through an EZPass-based tollbooth without having a proper transponder, bells ring and it snaps a photo of your license plate and mails you a bill for the unpaid toll. In this fellow's case, this would mean that he's moved and failed to change his registration, so that EZPass could never send him a bill. Which likely means the guy has been blowing through photo radar traps as well, and never paying his tickets.
      JaredN
      • 1 Year Ago
      Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.
      Neutral President
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Negligence is not, however, a defense." I think you mean *ignorance* is not a defense.
        drew
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Neutral President
        Correct. Negligence is the *offense*.
      Dmitriy Markelov
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think this man fully intended to run though these even though he knew he had to pay but some of these automated toll areas are pretty awful. They recently removed all of the human toll takers on the Golden Gate Bridge which means that the only way to pay for the toll is to have a FasTrak transponder in the car. Well my wife and I were coming back to the Bay Area after visiting family in Nevada and had to take the Golden Gate Bridge instead of the manned Bay Bridge due to bridge construction without knowing the entire bridge is automated. The best part? They didn't send a bill for $5 but for $35+ as a penalty. I don't use any of the Bay Area toll roads for my weekly commute and rarely cross the bridges yet I'm basically required to pay for and carry a FasTrak transponder unless I want another fat fine due to road construction or other unforseen event.
      Tim Tj Gibson
      • 1 Year Ago
      More importantly...there is a 'rare' Isuzu VehiCROSS.
      Gorgenapper
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why did it take until 2013 to catch this guy? That's what I want to know.
      Wetstuff
      • 1 Year Ago
      They will deduct is from his Food Stamps. Jim
      J
      • 1 Year Ago
      I definitely recognize the photo. This is the New Jersey Turnpike toll booth at Interchange 8A. New Jersey - where taxing residents is considered an art form
      Temple
      • 1 Year Ago
      If its the Dulles Toll Road, he clearly knew he was going through it without paying. There's a ton of leeway as well. I've gone through the EZ Pass without the pass registering, with the alarm going off, dozens of times and I've never been charged or fined before. I don't do it on purpose, and I generally stop, usually the attendant waves me through not wanting to cause traffic or backup. MWAA isn't crazy strict, I've also seen people go through so many times without a consequence as well. It must have happen so frequently they want to make an example out of this guy. They need the money as they are contributing to the Silver LIne.
        SloopJohnB
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Temple
        And yes, the EZ Pass may not be counted and you get your picture/license plate taken and someone then cross checks your plate (make sure it's registered to your ez pass..including that rental vehicle or loaner, but take it off when you turn in the car!) they can charge your ez pass. Also, once in MD I got a mail from EZPass re a toll that wasn't done on the transponder and I just paid the $2-3…no admin fee if you pay within 30 days or something at that time.
      dukeisduke
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope they have better luck than the North Texas Tollroad Authority. The NTTA has drivers owing thousands on ZipCash (if you don't have a TollTag, they take a picture of your license plate and send you a bill). They've tried mailing bills, suing, and publicly shaming them by publishing their names. They're not having much luck recovering money.
      J
      • 1 Year Ago
      He owes the total of each toll he didn't pay, and not a penny more. There is absolutely zero justice in the bargain he agreed to, it's extortion plain and simple.
        Clipper44
        • 1 Year Ago
        @J
        He is an idiot who tried to get away with it. He not only needs to pay the tolls, but he should absolutely be charged interest since he essentially took money out of their pocket. And then he should pay a penalty as punishment for trying to get away with it. I'm good with this fine. Pay your tolls like the rest of us have to.
        Sasha
        • 1 Year Ago
        @J
        Who are these asshats who downvoted you? His bill was something like $200k in penalties and $2k in toll fees. That's madness.
        d.hollywood
        • 1 Year Ago
        @J
        FACT.
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