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Illinois investigators show no tolerance for disability parking offenders

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ill. – Illinois Secretary of State investigators scoured the parking lot at St. Clair Square, looking for people illegally using disability parking spaces.

Kelly Di Maggio thinks she saw an offender park in a space she needed.

“A group of teenagers pulled up and used somebody else’s placard,” she said. “They were completely able-bodied students walking inside the mall.”

Di Maggio has a broken leg and a disability placard, but could not find a disability parking space.

“I’m tired of it. I’m really tired of it. This is everywhere you go,” she said.

Fox 2 camera crews waited for the driver to return to the vehicle Di Magio wondered about, along with Secretary of State police. SOS investigator Dwayne Buretz saw someone else park – a driver who did not have a disability placard.

Investigator Buretz wrote him a ticket and ordered him to move his vehicle.

“In a perfect world, it wouldn’t happen; and today’s a nice day,” he said.

Yet Buretz said he’s still seeing people taking spaces they do not need.

“I’ve had both today – those that have had no placard parked in the disability spot and the one I just wrote was the spouse of somebody issued the placard but the spouse was not with them,” he said.

You can only use a placard issued to you, unless the person with disabilities is with you and enters the store.

The most common offense investigators find is someone using a placard that doesn’t belong to them, which can get you a six-month license suspension and a $600 fine.