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Fifty tickets.  Everything from reckless driving and speeding to parking illegally.  All in Ireland, over the course of a few short months, but never once apprehended nor brought to trial.  Meet Prawo Jazdy.

Jazdy paraded around Ireland in 2007 racking up a pretty incredible record, avoiding punishment by having a ton of different IDs — probably as many as one per ticket.  Different faces.  Different addresses.  Different ID numbers.  Two are pictured, above.

The only thing consistent, beyond Jazdy’s name, was his country of origin.  (Even his gender was fungible.)  And that clue led to his eventual downfall — or, rather, the downfall of the Irish officials seeking his capture.

While the Polish population of Ireland is relatively tiny, Poles nevertheless made up one of the larger immigrant populations there.  (This was probably a function of Ireland’s rampant economic growth, and many immigrants have since left Ireland since their economic collapse.)  But the Garda Siochana — the police force of the Republic of Ireland — apparently never had a Polish speaker come in contact with the case file for the elusive Prawo Jazdy.  For had such a person read the file, he or she would have noticed what a Garda office worker figured out:

It turns out that “Prawo Jazdy” is Polish for “driver’s license.”

The Garda put out a memo to officers on the topic, as noted here, to avoid any future problems regarding Mr. (or Ms.) Jazdy’s driving.

Bonus fact: All road signs in Wales must be in both English and Welsh.  (How is this related to the above?  Because sometimes, things go wrong.)

From the Archives: Double Irish: How Ireland’s tax laws allow Google to save billions.

Related: A $7.57 solution to Ireland’s Prawo Jazdy problem.

Originally published

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