Restaurant near courthouse offers free lunch to acquitted

soup and a sandwichFast drivers who get a speeding ticket in Contra Costa County, Calif., may want to fight that ticket -- not only to keep their driving record clean, but to get a free lunch at a restaurant near the courthouse.

The Buttercup Grill & Bar in Walnut Creek, Calif., only steps from Walnut Creek Superior Court, is having an "Innocent Until Proven Hungry" month in May and is giving a free lunch to anyone found innocent of traffic violations at the courthouse.

It's not exactly a "Get Out of Jail Free" card in Monopoly, but better if you want a free lunch. I've been to that courthouse as a juror, and while I haven't been to that Buttercup Grill, there is one near my home in nearby Concord and the food at the family owned chain is good.

Some readers of a local blog, Claycord.com, aren't fans of the restaurant or its promotion. As one anonymous writer put it: "How about offering free meals to people who weren't stupid enough to get arrested in the first place?"

To get the free meal, defendants found not guilty must bring in the court documents to prove they were acquitted, and the acquittal must have happened on the same day they're getting the free lunch. Hopefully jurors or judges won't deliberate on traffic cases until after lunchtime.

Along with only be valid on the day of trial, the meal can be worth up to $10, and beverages and takeout meals are not included.

Aaron Crowe is a freelance journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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