I was born at night…

You know how it finishes. The point remains that, perhaps contrary to popular belief, I am not an idiot. So, when I pull you over for not wearing a seat belt and I tell you just that, do me a favor. Don’t look down at the seat belt you are now wearing (that you not-so-subtly put on as we passed one another) and paint on your best incredulous “You-must-be-mistaken-kind-officer” face.

Can we agree to that, please? You know you weren’t wearing it. I know you weren’t wearing it. Instead of being a lying douche, how’s about you ‘fess up and be honest. How hard is that? Believe me, one of our (I’m gonna go ahead speak for every other LEO on the planet here) biggest pet peeves is being lied to. Save yourself some embarrassment and whatever last shred of imagined dignity you have and just tell me the damn truth. Remember something else as well, we typically don’t ask questions that we don’t already know the answers to…at least with regard to traffic related issues.

A lot of time, I’ll ask someone a question and my decision to cite will be based solely on the driver’s honesty. If you lack the capacity to be honest simply for the sake of being a decent human being, be honest out of your more familiar self-preservation tendencies. Might just get you out of a well deserved ticket.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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10 thoughts on “I was born at night…

  1. I HATE it when they lie, and the biggest offenders in the prevarication department are the dirty hunters. Fish and Game violators are some of the most shameless liars I deal with. They lie to the warden, they lie to to me, they even lie to their attorneys.

    What REALLY pisses me off, however, is not that they are lying to beat a charge- who hasn't, in a moment of weakness, spun some bullshit in order to not get busted? What makes me want to grind them up and feed them to bears is the arrogant sense of entitlement. They lie because they think the laws are dumb and fuck you for questioning them anyway.

    Oh, no, Mr. Redneck asshole. You take a charge for taking out of season in my county, and you don't plea at arraignment, then you can expect an unreasonable monolith of justice. Your hobby is not important enough for me to accept being lied to.

  2. MC, what you don't give yourself enough credit for is that you have developed excellent skills in judging behavior of others. Most cops I know have also developed that innate sense of just knowing when someone is lying or has a shred of truth in their story. I agree, it's never wise to lie, or even 'stretch the truth' with a professional law enforcement officer. They know… they know. Thanks for the important reminder.

  3. Okay – I'll give you that. But the last ticket I got in 1995, the motor was a jerk. Wouldn't converse or smile – which then made me be stupid back at him. A few months later I was working at the same PD and he seemed to be nicer than he was giving me that ticket. I just figured he was a dick all the way around after that interaction.

  4. Dear MC,
    I'm in great sympathy, but often I wonder.

    Never got out of a citation by being dressed for striking power, poorly-dressed, bland, witty, patient. Never got out of one by being rude, b/c never tried it. Never tried to lie.

    Just got the tickets.

    So, I'm with you except that discretion comment seems universal among those police bloggers who ticket bad driving. I believe I got the tickets I deserved, so I'm not complaining. Just sayin'–

    1. I don't think most drivers believe discretion works in their favor. I do believe everyone ought to suck it up if they get caught.

    2. I also think that many police officers note it when people admit fault, so if the bad driver does decide to take it to court, they'd rather not make an admission.

    Still, and finally, there's no reason for bad manners. And I don't like lying either. I say they should take their ticket, slow down, stop being reckless, learn a lesson.

    Ann T.

  5. Come on, we all know that you are such a friendly guy you just pull these people over to enquire after their health and discuss the weather. Their prevarications should be overlooked. Only joking of course. Book em Danno Book em.

  6. I gave up fibbing to the traffic cop years ago — hasn't necessarily gotten me out of any tickets (although one was definitely written for a lesser offense), but I like to imagine that it made the officer's day a little different. After all, how many times do people say that they know what the speed limit was and they know how fast they were going? ;D

  7. So, we've got LEOs doing the work of the nannies making sure we wear our seat belts. The citizens then act like you are the nanny, giving you the big eyes and acting innocent when they are caught. What is surprising about any of this?

    How the hell did we ever let things slip this far? The law is dumb. When you have a law that treats people like children, you train them to act like children.

  8. I get out of about 25% of my potential tickets by being polite and honest. Do I know why I was pulled over? Yes sir, I was not paying enough attention to the road and when I saw you I realized I was going 37 in a 25. One officer was stunned when I made that admission, which does lead me to believe everyone pulled over acts like a jerk.

    The other 75% if I have time I'll go to traffic court and admit fault and usually I get my ticket down to something without points. Not always, but usually. I may be wrong, but at least in my district it seems honesty is rewarded unless of course you're getting 4 tickets a month.

    Plus the entertainment of listening to the other people in traffic court you just can't put a dollar value on!

    Frankly I don't expect a free ride after being pulled over to ever happen, I just do it out of common courtesy to another human being. Didn't most people on the road hear the lesson from their mom about "treat other people how you would like to be treated"?

    There ought to be an additional cite to make for "civilian acting like jackass"…

  9. Got to teach my granddaughter a great lesson today. Another effing learning experience "afle" as I refer to them.
    My granddaughter goes to school in Concord but lives in a small town near the 580/Highway 13 interchange. So her mom, my daughter, drives her here every morning. Not a bad commute, but sometimes they get behind and the race is on to get to school on time. This morning they were pulled over on this side – they stopped by my house after being ticketed and my granddaughter was able to relay her view of the story.
    "Mommy got pulled over."
    "Oh too bad, was she speeding?"
    "She wasn't even going that fast."
    "hhhmmm, well Missy, either your mommy was speeding or she wasn't speeding. The popo doesn't pull you over unless something's wrong. So was she speeding?"
    "Yes"
    "Then she got what she deserved." (Wait did I just say that?)

    My daughter's version:
    "I was doing 42 in a 35, didn't have my insurance card or my registration – He wrote me a ticket only for speeding. He was totally a nice guy." (An MC no less.)

    I'm sure it helped that my daughter is probably the most beautiful girl I've ever seen with a smile that can stop you in your tracks. I'm glad the interaction ifo of my 9 year old granddaughter was positive. "AFLEs" can be pleasant.