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Law enforcement: Monday is first day for administrative fines

If your foot is just a bit heavy on the gas pedal at any time tomorrow, you may just get a slip of paper from a friendly law enforcement officer.

But it may not be a ticket.

On Monday, the city of Bemidji will begin offering administrative fines for lesser traffic and non-traffic offenses.

The fines will cost $60 - much less than the traditional $115 tickets before issued.

But it's more than a cost-saving method for violators.

Those issued an administrative citation have the option of an administrative hearing, but will not have to go to court to appeal. Thus, the system could lessen the pressures on the courthouse.

Multiple cities in recent years began issuing the citations. The Minnesota Legislature passed a state law last year recognizing the citations, which it made it easier for cities to implement the fines.

Those who do not pay the fine within seven days will face action from the city. The city could choose to send the matter to a collections agency or issue a criminal citation in lieu of the administrative citation.