• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

What to do when pulled over by the Police

Status
Not open for further replies.

J.J

Full Member
Mentor
Reaction score
0
Points
210
http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/wayoflife/11/29/pulled.over/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

There are few things more nerve-wracking, or more anxiety-producing for even the most law-abiding driver, than seeing the flashing red and blue lights of a police car in your rear-view mirror.

It doesn't always have to be a harrowing experience, even if you know that you were driving well over the speed limit, or that your registration is expired, or heaven forbid, you've had a few too many cocktails and are behind the wheel anyway.

There are a few simple rules to follow to make sure the experience doesn't have to be any more unpleasant than it already is -- considering that it's likely you will come away with a fat ticket.

We sought the advice of a former Virginia State Trooper, now retired and working happily at an intelligence analyst job for a federal agency in Washington, D.C. He asked that we not use his real name, "because I don't want people to think I'm trying to draw attention to myself," he said.

He chose a colorful alias, asking that we just refer to him as Trooper Tom. Here are his six tips.

Pull over in a safe area

First of all, the most important rule to follow is to pull over in a safe area, as soon as it is reasonable and safe to do so. "Don't pull over in a place that is going to put you or the officer in danger," says Police Officer Tom -- like a narrow left-hand-lane shoulder on a highway. "If you do that, the officer is not going to get out and risk being hit -- he's going to get on the loudspeaker and tell you to move over to the right shoulder, and then you have to negotiate traffic to try to cross the highway. That can be aggravating, and you don't want to lock yourself into a ticket by making the officer mad," he says.

Don't coast

Secondly, don't coast for several blocks before pulling over. "If you just keep coasting, the cop is going to think, 'What is this guy doing?' He may think you're stalling because you're trying to stash something," warns the police officer. "If you pass a few safe places to pull over, the officer is definitely going to think you're up to something, and that raises suspicion."

Keep the engine running

Surprisingly, Police Officer Tom also advises you not to turn off your engine, especially if you're driving an old beater that's not reliable. "I generally didn't like the citizen to turn off his engine, because if it's an older car, it might not start again, and then you're in a situation where you have to wait for the guy to call a buddy or call a wrecker, and he's mad because you stopped him -- I'd just as soon not have to negotiate all that," says the police officer.

Keep your hands on the wheel

Keep your hands on the wheel as the trooper or officer approaches your vehicle. "That's how people kill you -- with their hands," muses Police Officer Tom. "They can reach for a weapon or the gear shift, which can turn the car into a weapon. We always focus on the driver's hands, and if they're not on the wheel, we're immediately more apprehensive, and that doesn't help your situation if you're the driver."

Stay in the car

You should always stay in the car. "I didn't want anyone out of the car, ever," says Police Officer Tom emphatically. "If they get out of the car, I'm thinking they have something to be afraid of, like they're wanted, or intoxicated, and in either case, that's a safety issue for the officer," warns the police officer.

"I don't care if you're the baddest officer there is, there's always someone out there who's badder than you, and if we can keep them inside the car, that's the best way to keep from being injured. If they're inside the car, they can't fight you and maybe grapple for your gun and shoot you."

Be careful what you say

Being polite to the officer isn't necessarily a pre-requisite, concedes Tom. "I never demanded respect," the police officer insists. "I only didn't want disrespect. If you want to be rude and yell and complain and say you're going to file a complaint against me, that's fine, I heard that all the time -- just don't get physical. And don't use curse words in an aggressive way, because in Virginia, anyway, that can get you arrested for disorderly conduct."

The police officer details some of his more exciting or amusing traffic stops -- that is, when people did not take the advice he shared above, and paid the price.

Once, he pulled a woman over on the highway for violating the High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) law. In Virginia, during morning and evening rush hours, vehicles traveling in the left-hand of some highways near Washington, D.C. are required to have more than one occupant. The ordinance is aimed at cutting down congestion by encouraging more drivers to car pool.

"She got out of the car and she was immediately extremely irritated," recalls the police officer in his Tennessee-by-way-of-Virginia accent. "I guess she was en route to a job interview. Now, I can put up with a lot of static, so it takes a lot to get me excited over an HOV ticket, but she was is in my face immediately, and she starts cussing and complaining, and she's actually making the process take longer because she won't let me write the ticket. I asked her to get back in her car, and she did, but in 15 seconds, she came roaring out again.

"This happened several times, and her anger kept escalating, and she kept yelling and cussing," continues Police Officer Tom with a wry laugh. "So finally, I had to roll my window up while she was yelling at me, just so I could finish writing the ticket. Well, I guess she didn't like that because she yanked my door open and said, 'Don't you ignore me, you m------- f------!' Well, that was it, she crossed the line there, so I cuffed her and arrested her for disorderly conduct and took her in."

The bottom line is that the original HOV violation was just a $50 fine, but the disorderly conduct conviction would have given her a criminal record, explains the police officer.

"And she had a job with the federal government, so a criminal conviction would have meant losing her security clearance, and therefore her job. So during negotiations between her attorney and the commonwealth prosecutor, she eventually paid a $2,500 fine in exchange for lowering the charge to a careless driving violation. So that turned out to be a pretty expensive outburst on her part."

One serious but amusing tale involved a driver who was "power-braking" his pick up truck outside a raucous Springfield, Virginia, bar at 3:00 a.m. He was extravagantly spinning and screeching his tires "and just filling the air with blue smoke and burning rubber," recalls the police officer.

"And he's doing it right in front of me at a traffic light. So I pulled him over, and he was clearly intoxicated, but he wasn't belligerent or anything -- he was a nice guy, an 'ol' country boy. But he failed every field-sobriety test I gave him."

This included a breathalyzer test, which revealed that he had a .18 blood alcohol level, more than double the legal limit for driving.

But the guy kept insisting that he be allowed to perform "his own test" which he claimed would prove he was not drunk. So finally, just out of curiosity, the police officer acquiesced -- with no guarantees.

"So the guy takes off running, and all of a sudden he goes into this cartwheel/back flip, with his cowboy boots on, and his legs go counter-clockwise, and he lands it, perfectly, in his cowboy boots, like he was a gymnast at the Olympics or something."
 

zipperhead_cop

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
410
WR said:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/wayoflife/11/29/pulled.over/index.html?iref=mpstoryview
One serious but amusing tale involved a driver who was "power-braking" his pick up truck outside a raucous Springfield, Virginia, bar at 3:00 a.m. He was extravagantly spinning and screeching his tires "and just filling the air with blue smoke and burning rubber," recalls the police officer.

It always amazes me how many people who are prohibited from driving go out of their way to draw attention to themselves.  However,  I would love to be able to offer doing a back flip as a way to get out of a DUI.  Of course, I'd be calling for a lot more breath tests at the hospital as well.  ;D

Another good idea is unless it is pouring rain, if you have tinted windows roll down all four.  At night, also do that, and put on your interior light.  That is letting the officer know that you are thinking about things that will make them feel safer, and sets the groundwork for you maybe getting a warning. 
 

Thompson_JM

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
Man, I do all these things and even in uniform, and I still get the tickets.....

I seem to get the cops with no sympathy.....  ;D

Though the truth of the matter is, Had I not been Speeding in the 1st place, They would not have pulled me over! (and here endith the lesson)
 

Fishbone Jones

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
941
Points
1,060
Tommy said:
Man, I do all these things and even in uniform, and I still get the tickets.....

I seem to get the cops with no sympathy.....  ;D

Though the truth of the matter is, Had I not been Speeding in the 1st place, They would not have pulled me over! (and here endith the lesson)

Unless you really do look like your avatar ;) ;D
 

JAWS228

Jr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
110
Officer: "Sir, you were going 80 km/h over the speed limit and I had to chase you for 15 miles there.  Mind telling me why?"

Speeder: "Sorry Officer, it's just that my ex-wife married a cop and I thought you were trying to give her back." ;D
 

Old Sweat

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
98
Points
480
A good friend of mine (a retired BGen) was hauled over for speeding on the 401. The police officer told him he had been driving thirty kilometres over the speed limit and asked to see his licence. After examining it, the officer said "Your name is familar. Do you have an airborne coin?" It was produced, at which point the offence was reduced to a warning with a strong talking to. At the end of all this my friend asked to see the officer's coin, to which request he responded, "you're in no position to ask."
 

Haggis

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
1,687
Points
1,140
Never ask: "You're not going to search the trunk, are you?"
 

JBoyd

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
When asked "Sir, your eyes look a little red, have you been drinking tonight?"

Never respond with "Sir, your eyes look a little glazed, have you been eating donuts tonight?"
 

Shamrock

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
1
Points
430
Tommy said:
Man, I do all these things and even in uniform, and I still get the tickets.....

I seem to get the cops with no sympathy.....  ;D

The problem is they don't respect you.  Pulling over is a sign of submission, a sign of weakness.  Police face this crap all day and it gets tedious.

Next time, what you have to do is turn on your signal light to show your intent to pull over.  Then book it.  This shows the cops you'll concede if and only if they are up to the challenge of catching you.  It triggers their competitive spirit and makes a traffic stop more rewarding for them.  They're more likely to give you a break if you've put them in a good mood.

In other news, I know a good lawyer who pays a client finder fee...
 

Haggis

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
1,687
Points
1,140
Shamrock said:
Next time, what you have to do is turn on your signal light to show your intent to pull over.  Then book it.  This shows the cops you'll concede if and only if they are up to the challenge of catching you.  It triggers their competitive spirit and makes a traffic stop more rewarding for them.  They're more likely to give you a break if you've put them in a good mood.

Cool.  I'm going to try this on the way home from the mess tonight.  I own a 4X4 and live in the country, so that should really give' em a challenge.

Shamrock said:
In other news, I know a good lawyer who pays a client finder fee...

Number, please? (I may need it tomorrow morning...)
 

Sig_Des

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
410
You're both the kinds of guys who sent new Ptes for Brass magnets during range cleanups, aren't you?  ;D

As far as getting pulled over. You probably got caught. If so, yes sir, no sir, stow the attitude, and take your licks (I don't mean the nightstick variety, Z-Cop  ;) )

If you didn't do anything, that doesn't mean you should be a dick. You can always fight a ticket.
 

Shamrock

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
1
Points
430
Sig_Des said:
You're both the kinds of guys who sent new Ptes for Brass magnets during range cleanups, aren't you?  ;D

As far as getting pulled over. You probably got caught. If so, yes sir, no sir, stow the attitude, and take your licks (I don't mean the nightstick variety, Z-Cop  ;) )

If you didn't do anything, that doesn't mean you should be a dick. You can always fight a ticket.

Don't listen to this man.  He's the sort to tell you that telling the RSM he has lint on his beret in front of the entire regiment is a bad idea.
 

DirtyDog

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
recceguy said:
Unless you really do look like your avatar ;) ;D
Funny, that's what I was thinking.

I've never had a problem with the police (well, in the last decade or so).  Common sense and courtesy seem to go a long way.  Women can be a problem though (but not all).

I in no way endorse this sort of thing, but I can remember back in the day being pulled over the the local police taking what remained of my beer and telling me to "take it easy" on the way home becasue it was obvious I'd had a few.  More then a few instances like that.
 

Haggis

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
1,687
Points
1,140
:warstory:
While coming home with a family pizza, my son was pulled over at a RIDE check.  The offcer asked if he'd been drinking and he, correctly, replied "no, sir".  the cop said "is that pizza I smell?"  "Yes, sir." said the my son. "That smells good.  Maybe I should confiscate it." says the cop.  My son's face drops and he replies "Please, sir...... don't.  It's for my family."  He was "let go".
:warstory:

(Recounted to me by the cop at the RIDE check, a friend of mine, who knew this lad was my son.)

 

Thompson_JM

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
recceguy said:
Unless you really do look like your avatar ;) ;D


That was just the end result of too much time on a slow night in wainwright.... aka EVERY night in wainwright!


I just dont get it... maybe its my car or something???  ;D  ;D  ;D  ;D

21101.jpg

 

geo

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
0
Points
410
Years ago, was pulled over bu the SQ... asked to get into the back seat of the cruiser, given the device & told to blow... Blow I did, the cops didn't like the reading and had me do it again... and again.

At which point the Senior constable told junior to give me back my papers & let me go....
Junior was bellyaching that "he just knew" I was gassed ....
Ended up that the Senior came up to me and appologized for his partner's behavior - told me that some village somewhere was missing it's idiot.  :)
 

xo31@711ret

Full Member
Reaction score
0
Points
160
told me that some village somewhere was missing it's idiot.  ....LOL!  Seniority counts!
 

zipperhead_cop

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
0
Points
410
Sig_Des said:
As far as getting pulled over. You probably got caught. If so, yes sir, no sir, stow the attitude, and take your licks (I don't mean the nightstick variety, Z-Cop  ;) )

Never use it.  Or the spray.  I'm all about the hands (well, elbows and knees, technically  ;)).  At least until I get a taser.  Then it's going to be Edison medicine for anyone who so much as has a cocked eyebrow.  ::)
Agree with the "don't argue" though.  Most times, we could care less about the outcome of a ticket in court.  If you want to plead it down on the day of, it is rare that anyone will deny you.  Even the traffic guys.  However if you managed to highlight yourself as a special person, fahgetta bahtitt. 
 

Thompson_JM

Sr. Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
zipperhead_cop said:
...Then it's going to be Edison medicine for anyone who so much as has a cocked eyebrow...

Dear God that one is Brilliant!

Im wiping up the water I was drinking as I type this...

if you dont mind tell me (PM if you prefer) how come you tend to avoid the Stick and Spray? Just not effective enough to make it worthwhile?

Cheers
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top