Recently, a controversy arose in Washington, DC over the illegal use of handicap parking permits. As the Washington Post article indicates, permit applications have exploded in the last few years leading many to suspect that abuse is widespread. While the problem may be magnified in high-density urban areas, the numbers seem to indicate that illegal use of handicap parking permits is on the rise nationwide. These types of problems tend to lead police to undertake crackdowns that seek to short-circuit public outrage in the short-term. So don’t be surprised if your local law enforcement begins to take a harder look at those blue placards.
Under Florida law, § 320.0848, Fla. Stat., it is a first degree misdemeanor to knowingly provide false information on an application, or to make false or misleading statements in application or certification for a disabled parking permit. Any person who fraudulently obtains or unlawfully displays a disabled parking permit, or an unauthorized replica, that belongs to another person while occupying a disabled parking space while the owner of the permit is not being transported in the vehicle can be charged with a misdemeanor of the second degree.