Americana: Road to Ruin

It started as nothing more than a $5 speeding ticket, but by the time it was over, Daniel S. Murray, 34, of Billings, Mont., had been hit with history's most expensive speeding fine. Murray was flagged down for driving 68 miles an hour in a 55-m.p.h. zone on Sept. 3, 1980, and ordered to pay a $5 fine. The incensed motorist not only refused to pay up, he filed a lawsuit asking damages of $1,050,007. It charged Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Ron Johnson with using unauthorized police powers and other infractions. Murray, an unemployed salesman who likes to do all...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!