Belle Chasse, La. – Although it's common practice for drivers of cars, ATV's and golf carts to ride on levees in Plaquemines Parish, officials say it's illegal - and they plan to enforce the law. And drivers who ignore the warning can face fines, jail time and even the seizure of the motorized vehicle.
FOX 8 received this news release from parish government Wednesday:
The Plaquemines Parish Government and Sheriff's Office are requesting that drivers refrain from operating any motor vehicle, to include all terrain vehicles (ATVs; i.e., 3-wheelers and 4-wheelers) and golf carts, on river and back levees in the parish. Although this activity has been a common practice throughout Plaquemines Parish, it is illegal. In addition to being against the law, it also poses a risk to riders, which has included death or serious injury. Furthermore, research has found that vehicular traffic of any type on levees can compromise the integrity of the levee system.
Both governmental entities have recently received numerous complaints regarding individuals riding on levees. Per State law, Louisiana Revised Statute 38:213 (Riding or Hauling on Levees Prohibited), and the Plaquemines Parish Code of Ordinances Chapter 15 – Section 12 (Motor Vehicles and Traffic), deputies have the authority to issue citations to violators.
If convicted on a first time violation, offenders are subject to a $100 fine and/or imprisonment not to exceed five (5) days. Conviction on a second violation can result in a $250 fine and/or imprisonment up to fifteen (15) days. Conviction on a third and any subsequent violation may result in a $500 fine and/or imprisonment not to exceed thirty (30) days.
Upon the conviction of a second and subsequent offense, the District Court Judge shall have the discretion to order the seizure and forfeiture of the offender's motorized vehicle.
Residents are urged to call the Sheriff's Office at 504-564-2525 or 911 to report violations.
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