Unpaid Traffic Tickets Could Lead to Arrest

Unpaid Traffic Tickets Could Lead to Arrest

KERMIT, TX (KWES) - Police are issuing a final warning for hundreds of people whose unpaid traffic tickets and citations have led to active warrants.

"There are 611 [warrants, with fines totaling] approximately $177,000 just for the last two years," said Kermit Police Chief Jamie Dutton. "This is getting overwhelming."

Unpaid fines dating back ten years exceed $750,000, he added.

Dutton said officers began a "warrant roundup" Wednesday, and will continue looking for violators at both homes and businesses until the list of active warrants "looks more reasonable."

"There's no end date for this," he told NewsWest 9. "It just comes down to them getting caught sooner or later."

Alonso Gallegos, a New Mexico resident who was slapped with a speeding ticket while driving through Kermit, said he was nabbed for failing to clear the payment while renting a car.

"I ended up doing 30 minutes in jail for that," he said. "It could have been an easy speeding ticket."

Gallegos said his name wound up on an arrest warrant after he sent the money to the wrong court and recommended others to "be more careful."

Options - aside from awaiting imminent arrest - include contacting the Kermit Municipal Court to pay the entirety of the fine, arranging a payment plan with multiple installments or requesting to do community service instead.

More information can be found on the court website: http://www.kermittexas.us/departments/municipal_court.php