A Florida man found himself in hot water for the third time this year for allegedly imitating the distinctive color scheme of a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) cruiser.
Robert Bohan, 60, was driving a Crown Victoria when he was pulled over by a vigilant FHP trooper just after 2:30 p.m. on East Fowler Avenue, close to Interstate 275. What caught the officer's eye? The unmistakable "black and tan" paint job that's exclusive to FHP vehicles.
Interestingly, when the trooper confronted Bohan regarding the paint on his car, he feigned ignorance, claiming he had never modified it. However, the trooper was quick to point out that the black paint, typically applied to decommissioned patrol cars before they're auctioned, appeared to have been buffed off.
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This wasn't Bohan's first run-in with the law over the controversial color scheme. Records reveal that he had been pulled over and warned about the same violation twice earlier this year, in February and June. Florida law is clear on the matter, prohibiting the coloring of any vehicle in a manner that closely resembles the FHP's color scheme unless expressly authorized.
Such an offense is no small matter. Violators risk being charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. In Bohan's case, after being issued a notice to appear in court, his car was promptly towed away, as per the FHP report.
This case eerily mirrors another recent incident in South Florida, where a woman was taken into custody for driving a car that was made to look suspiciously like an FHP vehicle. She had a tan logo painted on the side, and when questioned, she whimsically responded that she simply "fell in love" with the colors.
As Florida officials continue to crack down on such offenses, it serves as a potent reminder: imitating official vehicles isn't just unlawful, it's also a fast lane to legal trouble