Pregnant Texas woman ticketed twice for driving in HOV lane

The Texas woman who was ticketed for an HOV violation revealed that she was ticketed not once, but twice.

Brandy Bottone of Plano, Texas, made headlines after she was pulled over at a sheriff’s checkpoint in June 2022 for driving in a busy lane while 34 weeks pregnant.

Bottone told the officer that her unborn child was her second passenger under the Texas Penal Code, which states that a person is “a person who is alive, including an unborn child at any stage of gestation from conception to birth ».

Although Bottone told the officer she didn’t want to become “political” — referring to overturning Roe v. Wade and the Texas enabling law that bans abortion with only limited exceptions — she was given a $275 ticket.

“The first ticket was dismissed early last week,” Bottone told TODAY Parents, adding that her attorney received notification of the dismissal via email.

Related story: Pregnant Texas woman pulled over for driving in HOV lane, says unborn child is 2nd passenger

In her Instagram stories on Monday, Bottone, 32, revealed that she was ticketed for the same reason twice.

“The second ticket happened the day before I went into labor on August 3,” Bottone told TODAY. “I was using the same route I did before and they had set up another checkpoint.”

The second ticket was issued with “the same script as the previous ticket,” according to Bottone.

“I was going to pick up my son from his father’s house and they had set up a checkpoint,” she explained. “I pulled over and asked the same question. I said, ‘Yeah, here,’ pointing to her belly.”

Bottone told TODAY the officer “didn’t even blink or care” and instructed her to go to the ticketing officers.

“Funnily enough, I got the same officer as the first ticket that wrote me that,” Bottone said. “He smiled and said, ‘Hi, I know you.’ He was very friendly but stated he would give a ticket and I really didn’t need to explain because I knew what he was going to say. He took my license and showed the other cops that it was me and they all smiled and said, “No way” or “Really?”

The officer issued Bottone a ticket.

“She asked me when I was having the baby (and) I said, ‘Tomorrow, actually,'” Bottone said of the incident. “He said, ‘Good luck!’ Have a nice day”.

Bottone shared that her second ticket was issued before the first was dismissed.

“According to my lawyer, they will probably continue to ticket pregnant women until the law is changed, which won’t happen until after the election season is over, probably,” he said.

A request for comment from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department was not returned, and the Dallas Police Department told TODAY that Bottone was not ticketed by their department.

“We do not patrol HOV lanes,” a Dallas Police Department spokesman said in a written statement.

The Texas Department of Transportation website states that an HOV lane in North Texas can be used by “a vehicle occupied by two or more persons or a motorcyclist.” The site also has a section that explains who can’t use the HOV lane, but doesn’t specify laws regarding pregnant women.

A request for clarity on HOV laws in Texas from the Texas Department of Transportation was not returned.

In an Instagram story slide this week, Bottone shared that she’s not sure what else I can do.

“I hope this will be addressed and unfortunately my point was not taken seriously and he seemed to find a roundabout way to dismiss my question about the correct interpretation of the laws,” he told TODAY Parents.

Bottone shared on her Instagram stories that she believes the second ticket will also be dismissed. (@thebrandybotttone via Instagram)

Bottone welcomed her baby girl the first week of August.

“I hope that someone in a higher political position than me will take a stand on the issue of laws not speaking properly and not being seen as ‘I want my cake and eat it too,'” he said.

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