License & Registration Please
My Barbershop pals always enjoyed a story of my encounters with the police while driving home from practice. This wasn’t your usual Tuesday night practice but a good cop story just the same.
While driving along, late one night,
We happened upon an enticing sight.
A sleek two-door passed us by,
It raced ahead; he wasn’t shy.
The light turned red and we both stopped,
The light turned green and away I hopped!
I sped ahead to change my lane,
Sadly though, it was all in vain.
The car I beat was just a tease,
The Trooper said, “Your papers please.“
Spoiler Alert: Arrested for DUI; copied this to my public defender; charges dropped.D. Bayliss
- While traveling North on Hanover Pike just past the Rt. 81 interchange, suddenly there appeared a car right behind me. Maybe it just zoomed the exit ramp? As the road opened to 2 lanes, the car passed me on the right, raced ahead and stopped at a traffic light, which had turned red. Still in the left lane, I stopped beside what appeared to be a pretty sweet Dodge Charger. When the light changed green I sped ahead so I could merge into the right lane before my lane ended, then when I viewed the car’s headlights in my rear view mirror, put on my turn signal and merged into the right lane.
- To my surprise, emergency lights came on! Naturally, I pulled over. The first thing he said to me was do you know why I pulled you over? I said no, is it because my tire chirped when pulling away from the traffic light? He said no, it is because you were a little close to me when you changed lanes. Let me see your license and registration.
- It is important to note my passenger in front seat was my wife, who was, actually, intoxicated. As she struggled to find the registration and insurance card in the glove box, she leaned over to announce she was having some trouble finding the requested documents. I showed the trooper my driver’s license and told him all of our documentation were up to date. He said don’t worry about it, I’ll look it all up back in my car.
- After a while he returned and said he needed me to get out of the car and when I asked why and said he smelled alcohol and told me again to get out of the car. Not desiring confrontation, I got out of the car. I told him I needed my cane and he said ok, and mentioned noticing my handicap license plate.
- I walked to his car, turned around and was again surprised to see him standing inches away from me. He said follow my finger with your eyes. I did so, twice, and then he presented the Breathalyzer and said I need you to breathe into this. I said why? Didn’t I just pass your finger test? He said no, and I quote, “according to my training you appear sluggish.”
- Then he said if you don’t breathe into it I will immediately arrest you and it will cost you $1,000. I blew into the Breathalyzer. He took a minute to read it and finally announced “.083 I’m placing you under arrest”.
Arrested for DUI
- He handcuffed me and placed me in the back of his car. I said you can’t leave my wife on the side of the road in her condition. He said she will have to call somebody.
- I’m sitting handcuffed in the back of his car and realize, wholly shit, this is a full blown unmarked police cruiser with all the bells and whistles! You would never know!
- Suddenly the “trooper” opened the door and asked me if he could move my car off the shoulder of the road. What could I say? I said yes and he drove my car to a parking lot across the street and he gave the car keys to my intoxicated wife!!
- He then drove me to the police station.
Tar & Feathered
- Now at the police station I agreed to answer their questions (or be locked up), so they read me my rights, took a blood sample, and had me answer a list of completely senseless questions.
- The fun came when they tried to take my finger prints, which was nearly impossible due to the way my fingers tightly curl up. After about 30 minutes, the officer attempting the procedure was on the phone trying to defend why she was sending up such poor quality results.
In My Defense
1. Admittedly I suffered a lack of judgement when I mistakenly believed the kid in the car next to me was some punk in a new Dodge Challenger his mommy & daddy had just bought him. In my own defense, his aggressive driving persuaded me to feel this way. Tailgating, passing on the right, speeding…
State Trooper’s Lack of Judgement
2. The trooper’s judgement is questionable for stopping me to begin with. He thought I was cutting him off but why was he tailgating me? Isn’t it common courtesy to slow down when someone in front of you turns on their blinker to change lanes?
3. The trooper’s judgement is in question when he accused me of smelling like alcohol. If he did smell alcohol, it would have been on my passenger’s breath when she leaned over to talk to him.
4. The trooper’s judgement is in question when he watched me walk back to his car. In his mind I believe he already thought I was drunk, not giving any consideration to my disability. According to the trooper’s affidavit he observed “visible indicators of impairment.”
Really? Ask my wife how many times people have asked her about my “visible indicators of impairment!”
5. I question the trooper’s training in administering the “follow my finger test.” Did his training include how a person would respond if they were diagnosed with a degenerative neurological disorder that weakens all of their muscles, including the eyes? I’m guessing not. His interpretation of this “test” is a failure in judgement, even if due to inadequate training.
6. The trooper’s judgement is certainly in question when he failed to request my consent on taking the Breathalyzer test. Instead, he threatened me with immediate arrest and a fine of $1,000 if I refused. I strongly take exception to this error in judgement.
7. The most egregious lack of judgment is when the trooper handed my intoxicated wife the keys to our car. What was he thinking? Why wasn’t he concerned for her safety? Because of his compromised judgement, the trooper should be the one charged with “careless disregard for the safety of persons or property.” He should be the one charged with “reckless endangerment.
Every reason stated by the state trooper in his affidavit for why he arrested me was a fabrication! He exercised poor judgement and is surely not legally competent evidence. I request dismissal of all the charges put forth against me.
I gave a copy of the above account to my Public Defender. He asked me to give him a minute and left me to go talk to the judge.
Upon his return he said she said if I plead guilty to “not obeying traffic lanes” the court would drop the three (3) separate charges of driving under the influence (DUI). Oh, and I had to pass a drug and alcohol evaluation to prove I wasn’t at risk for more offenses!
My Day in Court
My hearing was Friday 2/5/21 but due to COVID19 restrictions, I faced the judge via a Zoom meeting! I took the plea and was charged with not obeying traffic lanes ($25) and careless driving ($25). The DUI charges were withdrawn!
Cost of Bad Judgement
Traffic Fines: $ 50.00 Costs and Restitution: $352.70 Convenience Fee: $ 2.75 Total Amount Due: $405.25
Restitution? At least I am happy because otherwise I’d be facing thousands of dollars in penalties and a heap more of unwanted trouble.
Be Careful Out There
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