Monday, August 13, 2007

On the off-ramp to adultery

So you got one of those EZ-Pass things that you stick on your windshield, allowing you to zip through a toll plaza and avoid a long line.

Better stay on the marital straight and narrow.

The Associated Press has a story that may strike fear among philanderers: Divorce lawyers have discovered that records for E-ZPass, originally known as Smart Tag in Virginia, can be useful to prove where a cheating spouse was.

Or as Jacalyn Barnett, a New York divorce lawyer, colorfully put it, “E-ZPass is an E-ZPass to go directly to divorce court, because it's an easy way to show you took the off-ramp to adultery."

Okay, that’s a nice turn of phrase, but per the AP, lawyers are finding the E-ZPass info to be a useful tool to prove or disprove a wandering spouse’s whereabouts, or a way to impeach credibility.

Twelve states, mostly along the Atlantic coast, are on the E-ZPass system. State agencies in seven of those states, including Virginia, will turn over records in response to a court order in either a criminal or civil case, including a divorce. Four states will let the records be used only in criminal cases; West Virginia doesn’t have a policy.

Moral of the story, if there is one: If you're going to stray, pack that E-ZPass away.

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