Courthouse stings catch illegal drivers in the act as they try to drive from parking lots

Teams of state troopers and deputies have been ordered to stake out courthouses to catch drivers pulling out of the parking lot after they’ve lost their license.

The move is part of an aggressive crackdown by the Florida Highway Patrol and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office on unlicensed drivers who repeatedly get behind the wheel.

The focus on these drivers is part of a plan to put the brakes on what authorities call an epidemic infecting the roadways. A 2003 study by the American Automobile Association found that motorists without a valid driver’s license are five times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than those properly licensed.

Under the new tactic, ordered by Maj. Luis Ramil, FHP’s Troop L commander, and Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, law enforcement officers lay in wait in and around courthouses, some in plainclothes to blend in with spectators at the hearings.

When the judge suspends a driver’s license, the troopers or deputies then alert their colleagues outside who nab the drivers.

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