The Hamptons Police Department set up a series of checkpoints on Friday to stop vehicles with out-of-state plates entering the Hamptons.
The drivers of the vehicles were required to demonstrate that they had a sufficient amount of cash on hand—current statutes specify that visitors should have “no less than $300 in cash to spend per person” when coming into the area—before being allowed to continue.
“It’s a law that’s been on the books for a long time,” Hamptons PD spokesman Larry Hirsch says, adding “We seldom enforce it, but that’s going to change.” According to Hirsch, a startling 56 percent of motorists were found to have insufficient funding and were made to turn around and go back home.
“We’ve discovered a culture of improvidence that we plan to stop,” Hirsch says.
Further statutes of the cash law stipulate that having $300 or more does not automatically save visitors from detention or expulsion from the Hamptons. “We’ve seen it before,” Hirsch says. “Some come into town with three one hundred-dollar bills and then use their reluctance to break said bills as an excuse not to spend them,” he explains. “Simply having $300 is not enough if you have no intention of spending it.”
Hirsch points out that the cash law is about keeping the local economy fruitful, “especially this time of year,” and having the citizenry, including visitors, prepared for all fiscal contingencies. “We’re also allowing motorists to pay moving violations and parking tickets on the spot now,” Hirsch says. “So if you don’t want to spend your precious hundreds, our Traffic Control Officers will be happy to break them for you.”