Wildwood Attorney Summarizes Annual Violations
Check out how many cases of speeding, Driving While Intoxicated (DWIs) and trespassing typically are prosecuted in Wildwood. Revenue to the city from speeding violations so far is close to $500,000.
Compared to last year for the same nine-month period, speeding tickets in Wildwood are up while trespassing is down and Driving While Intoxicate (DWI) cases are the same, said Bart Calhoun, Wildwood prosecuting attorney at Monday night's city council meeting.
Each year during the fall, Calhoun delivers an annual summary to council members. He has served Wildwood for the past several years in this capacity; his full-time position is being a Missouri assistant prosecuting attorney.
Calhoun handles ordinance violations through the Wildwood City Court, in addition to processing contested matters. He also represents Wildwood in incidences that are appealed through the St. Louis County Council.
The following numbers reflect developments that occurred between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30.
Calhoun said 5,193 speeding tickets were issued, up more than 200 cases from 4,954 issued last year. Of the cases noted, he said 4,868 are solved. He said the staff has closed 300 more cases compared to last year.
Revenue from speeding tickets is $492,878, compared to last year's revenue by this point being approximately $488,000.
He said trespassing remains an issue for the city, particularly in municipal parks and on Rock Hollow Trail, commonly known as Zombie Road.
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Last year, the number of trespassing cases was 84; so far this year only 45 cases have been processed. "I think the city's enforcement efforts are working. Anytime we see a 50 percent reduction in something, we count the effort as effective," he said.
Drinking While Intoxicated (DWI) charges are relatively the same, reflecting 53 last year to 54 this year.
"Wildwood's workload is heavy, but everybody works hard and I commend the staff," said Calhoun.
Council member Michele Baur, Ward 8, asked if the city's ban on pseudoephedrine-based medicines this spring had an impact on those type of violations. Pseudoephedrine is the vital ingredient for making methamphetamine, or "meth." It is used to treat asthmas and nasal congestion and is found in brand-name drugs like Sudafed and Actifed. Calhoun said he could not say with certainty, as he only sees those matters that are contested. "People who buy for that purpose typically go somewhere else after a city enacts that type of ban," he said.
Council member Jack Clark, Ward 4, asked about what he called "the wholesale disregard of bicyclists for disobeying traffic laws."
Clark said, "Our police are not enforcing the rules on bicyclists."
Calhoun's response was that an officer first would have to see bicyclists' violations, just like they have to see motorists' violations. He also said he does not see bicycling-related violations processed if the people pay the fines.
Calhoun said the designated backup and deputy prosecutor for him, if he is ever unable to make it to Wildwood Municipal Court, is Tim Engelmeyer. Engelmeyer also serves as prosecuting attorney for Chesterfield, Des Peres and Valley Park.