Former Santa Fe resident Mona Serna recalled the $80 speeding ticket she received in the city in 1995. It went unpaid.

She didn’t realize the repercussions she would face until another officer pulled her over and gave her a warning: Her license had been suspended due to the unpaid fine.

Serna eventually stood before a judge and agreed to make payments on the fine and additional penalty fees, which increased the debt to triple digits. It would take her seven months to pay it off. She didn’t have steady work at the time and was caring for an elderly father and children, and living on just $388 a month in cash assistance, she said.

Staff writer Robert Nott contributed to this report.

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