Saturday, April 30, 2016

A woman enters the BMV License Branch Thursday, March 7, 2013, on Harrison Street in Elkhart. (Ryan Dorgan/The Elkhart Truth)
Police officer wins lawsuit against BMV over '0ink' license plate

Posted on May 8, 2014 at 11:40 a.m.

The BMV's rejection of a police officer's vanity plate is all hogwash, a judge ruled Wednesday.

A Marion County judge issued a summary judgement on Wednesday, May 7, in favor of a police officer who sued the Bureau of Motor Vehicles after it revoked his vanity license plate.

According to a report from the Indianapolis Star, Cpl. Rodney Vawter of the Greenfield Police Department sued the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles in May 2013 claiming it violated his First Amendment rights by not allowing him to renew the plate.

The BMV suspended its vanity plate program last summer because of the lawsuit.

Vawter had used a vanity plate that said "0ink" on his personal vehicle for three years and considered the pig snort to be "an ironic statement of pride in his profession," according to the Star.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles said the plate fell under a statute that allows it to refuse to issue a vanity plate if it has "a connotation offensive to good taste and decency" or "would be misleading."

Vawter was represented in his lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.