Throwing a cigarette from a vehicle can result in loss of license

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SOUTHWICK, Mass. (The Westfield News) – After a Westfield driver’s loud exhaust caught the attention of police, she was charged with multiple offenses including littering.

Susan A. Bulewich, 23, of 77A S. Maple Street, Westfield, was pulled over by Southwick police at approximately 2:15 p.m. Wednesday on Congamond Road.

“The vehicle’s exhaust was extremely loud . . . indicative of a hole in the system,” according to court records.

As Southwick Patrolman Michael Taggart stopped Bulewich’s vehicle, he witnessed her throw a lit cigarette out the window.

When Taggart ran the standard vehicle checks, he found the registration “revoked for lack of insurance” and her license was suspended for a warrant. There was also a warrant for a failure to appear in court, according to court records.

Bulewich was released on her personal recognizance in Westfield District Court Thursday after being arraigned on charges of operating a motor vehicle with license suspended, operating motor vehicle with registration suspended, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, miscellaneous motor vehicle equipment violation (defective equipment–the exhaust) and littering from motor vehicle (the lit cigarette).

For the littering offense Taggart cited Massachusetts General Law Chapter 90, Section 22G called “Littering; suspension of license,” which includes the registrar being able to suspend a operator’s license for a period of seven days or less for anyone who litters, according to malegislature.gov

Massachusetts is only one of three states, along with Maryland and Louisiana, where a driver’s license can be suspended for littering, according to National Conference of State Legislators website, ncsl.org

Bulewich could have also been charged under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 148, Section 54, “Lighted cigarettes, etc. likely to cause fire; dropping or throwing from vehicles . . .,” according to malegislature.gov

Additionally, Massachusetts General Law has a separate section for littering in Chapter 270, Section 16, “disposal of rubbish, etc. on or near highways…

Bulewich is due back in court on June 2 for a pretrial hearing.

Staff Writer Christine Charnosky can be reached at christinec@thewestfieldnewsgroup.com

2017 UPDATE // If you’re caught littering, you could lose your license

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