ASK A COP — Is there a law that allows someone to get a ticket for running out of gas?

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Markus asks: I have a son who always believes he can make it to the service station on fumes. I have told him over and over again about running the car low on fuel that it would damage to fuel injectors. I have had to rescue him three or four times on the road because he ran out of gas. Is there any law that allows someone to get a ticket for running out of gas?

Answer: Running out of gas or running your gas tank below a quarter of a tank has been determined to cause damage to the fuel injectors, which is a very costly repair. At this time there isn’t a law in the state of Texas where a police officer can issue a citation before someone runs out of gas. But through research, I have found there is one city. In Youngstown, Ohio, it is illegal for anyone to run out of gas on the roadway. YES, in Youngstown, Ohio you could be cited for running out of gas on the roadway. Unless your son is moving to Youngstown, Ohio, there is nothing that can be done about running out of gas by law enforcement in Texas.

Francis asks: I was discussing driving laws with my cousin the other day, and we got on the subject of outstanding warrants for arrest. She said a coworker of hers had outstanding warrants for driving infractions committed in a different city, and her license was suspended because of the warrant. This blew me away and I can’t seem to believe this to be true. Can you get points on your license or have your license suspended for having outstanding warrants for your arrest for traffic infractions?

Answer: I don’t believe the state will suspend your license for an outstanding warrant for a traffic citation, but the state can/will DENY renewal of said driver’s license if a court reports to the state that said license holder failed to report to court, or failed to complete the payment agreement. Under the failure to appear / failure to pay program, the department may deny the renewal and your license will not be able to be renewed until obligations has been satisfied with every court that reported to the state your active warrant status. Once a license holder has satisfied the court, they are able to approach the department to renew their license.

Lisa asks: If someone is caught going over 25 miles over the posted speed limit, is this violation an automatic arrest? I’ve been told you will automatically be arrested if you are caught going 25 miles per hour over posted the speed limit in Texas. Of course, my hubby disagrees. Please help because a home cooked dinner is pending on your answer.

Answer: In Texas, a driver can NOT be arrested for the charge of SPEEDING no matter what speeds they are accused of driving! I know that sounds weird, but Texas law is Texas law. It sounds like you need to strap on your apron and get your menu ready to cook for your husband because he was right. However, with that said, a driver can be arrested for reckless driving, which is a higher charge than speeding. The Texas Transportation Code defines reckless driving broadly as operating a vehicle with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Reckless driving is a traffic misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $200. Now, here’s the twist, if an officer believes you are reckless for going 25 mph over the speed limit, then “YES,” you can be arrested for reckless driving, not speeding.

Join Me, Officer Rickey Antoine and the crew of Stephen “Buzzard Boots” Mosley, Lelo “mouth of Hwy 69/73” I. Washington and Tejas “Lil Man” Morning Star for Ask A Cop live on KSAP 96.9 FM, The Breeze radio station every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. Tune in via the Internet at ksapthebreeze.org. Call in questions live at 409-982-0247. Email questions to rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov, call 409-983-8673 for voice mail or mail them to 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can always approach and “Ask A Cop!”