A McLean man applying for his driver's license wound up being driven directly to jail after police said he tried to bribe the examiner when his road test was not going well.
Rui L. Zhang, 56, was charged with bribing a public official after police said he flashed some cash during a road examination Friday afternoon. If convicted, he may not be driving any time soon. He would face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 on the felony count.
Fairfax County police said the test was going poorly because Zhang was not following the examiner's instructions. At some point, Zhang took out his wallet, produced money and "offered it to the road tester,'' said Sgt. Richard Perez, a Fairfax police spokesman.
The examiner refused, finished the test and immediately called police. Authorities would not say how much cash Zhang produced, where exactly he put it and what, if anything, he said to the examiner when he offered it.
Also unclear was whether Zhang, in fact, wound up failing the road test. Zang could not be reached for comment.
"I think we had a highly unusual situation here, but what's not unusual is that we have a very honest workforce,'' said Marcia Meredith, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. "This is an example of a DMV employee who did the right thing. He immediately reported this, and the results speak for themselves.''
DMV officials would not release the name of the road examiner, a 22-year-old man from the Vienna area who works at the DMV's Tysons Corner office, nor would they make him available for interviews.
Zhang, who was scheduled to appear in Fairfax County General District Court yesterday, could not be reached. He was released Saturday from the Fairfax jail after posting $2,500 bond.
Police also praised the examiner's actions. "The DMV did the absolutely correct thing in calling us,'' Perez said.