8 Traffic Ticket Myths

Bankrate has listed 8 myths about traffic tickets and we like it! Spending money on traffic tickets is a huge waste.

Our favorite myth?

Myth No. 6: You can make up an excuse to get out of the ticket.
Most police officers aren’t interested in excuses. When an officer pulls you over, he already suspects you of an infraction. You’ll have your day in court and many ways to fight the ticket. Remember: Any explanation you give about why you were speeding is an admission that you were speeding. If an officer logs those explanations in his notes, the statements could later be used against you in court. That’s why, whenever an officer asks if you know why you’ve been pulled over, always answer “no” and just take the ticket.

“Never admit to speeding in the process of talking,” says Aaron Quinn, communications director for the National Motorists Association. “I would say just to be polite with the officer. Reasoning with the officer is something that might help you out if you actually are on your way to the hospital. You can try talking, just don’t admit guilt.”

This is good advice. Be as polite and nice to the police officer as possible, and they just might feel bad for you and let you go with a warning. It happens.

Read the rest of the myths at Bankrate. Oh, and if you get pulled over by the “GPD,” that’s the Gotham Police Department. They’re not real. Just cool.

8 top traffic ticket myths [Bankrate]
(Photo:Zesmerelda)

Comments

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  1. Buran says:

    I’m waiting for the day I see a police Mustang with “to punish and enslave” written on it. You think they made that up for filming a movie? Ha.

  2. BK88 says:

    From MYTH #5 “…There is also the National Driver Register, or NDR, a
    database of information about drivers who have had their licenses
    revoked and suspended due to serious traffic violations. States provide
    the NDR with information about these serious offenses, and those in the
    database can be denied licenses in other states.”

    Or in the case of Virginia, they can suspend your license because you
    haven’t sent them notice about your insurance coverage when you live in
    another state and have a different state’s DL. Happened to my g/f,
    moved to FL, she got an FL license, but kept her tag in Virginia cuz
    her and her dad’s name were on it. Moved to TX, got a new TX plate just
    fine, but Virginia suspended her license, even though she had an FL
    license. The clerk was happy to take her CC# to pay the statutory $85
    fee for lack of notification. Here vehicle was insured the entire time,
    which saved a $500 fine.

    So long story short, it doesn’t have to be a serious infraction to be
    on the NDR, just a lapse in reporting your insurance coverage for VA.

    –BK

  3. nffcnnr says:

    Caught speeding by a cop with a radar gun? When you go to court, ask if the radar gun was properly calibrated at the time of the alleged violation. If the officer can not produce the paperwork that shows that the device was properly calibrated, you win! i think regulations say that radar guns must be calibrated every so often, so it may be possible that the gun is overdue for calibration. <– i heard or read about this years ago, is it true? is this in all jurisdictions? It’s possible that advanced technology has made this not applicable, anyone know? What if you get caught speeding by a radar gun while on a hill? How about if the police vehicle is traveling in the opposite direction when the officer clocks you? Would these circumstances create a challengeable situation? Anyone know?

  4. DeliBoy says:

    My sister-in-law got lucky when a cop pulled her over for speeding. Apparently, he was out of tickets. He apologized and let her go.

  5. B says:

    Heh, that reminds me of a time I was pulled over, the officer asked me if I knew why, and I said no. Then he said “you ran that stop sign” and I said, “It’s a yield sign.” He looked back, looked at me and said, “oh.”

  6. Cowboys_fan says:

    Excuses can work. If you give a really insane, disgusting story, you may just get away with it. Don’t admit guilt but say, officer, I have really bad diarrhea and if I don’t get home, I’m gonna (you know what) myself. You have to play it up though. Spray some water on your face like you’re sweating. Or just be a really hot female with big breasts.
    a few tips from an ex-cop I knew (check the laws where you live);
    1. If you’re drinking and driving and get pulled over, toss your keys out the window(I don’t remember exactly why), and when the cop comes over, crack a beer and CHUG right in front of him. Then he can’t prove your alcohol level before you were pulled over. Alcohol accessible is a lesser crime.
    2. If you get in an accident drunk, walk to the closest bar and drink. Leaving the scene is again a lesser crime.
    3. ALWAYS take the breathalizer. Like all other machines, some days it just won’t work right and you may get off.

  7. enm4r says:

    Another “myth” that people spread is that if you pay over the ticket amount, the state will send you a check back. If you don’t cash this check, the transaction will never complete and the ticket doesn’t count. I went out on a limb once and actually paid $10 over on a ticket I got in Pennsylvania going from DC to Chicago.

    Sure enough, about a month later I got a check for $10 back in the mail. I didn’t cash it, and let it ride. This was about 2 years ago, and my insurance does not have a record of this ticket.

    This is something that countless people support, countless others claim myth, but in my case, in that state, with my insurance company, there is no record of the ticket.

  8. DojiStar says:

    @nffcnnr:

    Yeah, the radar calibration trick is a funny one. The offender walks into the court clerks office with a smirk on their face and requests the calibration sheets to the radar unit used to clock him. The offender figures that the court clerk will be stumped by the request and be unable to help them.

    But instead the clerk walks to a file draw, gets the reequested paperwork, copies it, and a minute later gives it to the offender.

    The offender then walks away with a look on their face of “now what do I do with this piece of paper”. They have no clue and don’t use it in court anyway because they can’t decipher it.

  9. HaxRomana says:

    I don’t know…I’ve been pulled over more times than I care to say. I do everything wrong: I drive a red, dented car that’s a total mess inside and has stickers supporting controversial political causes on the back. I get nervous and say stupid things, and have been known to make excuses/lie. Last but not least, I drive ridiculously. However, in all the times I’ve been stopped, I’ve only ever received one ticket. Once I even got pulled over twice in two days BY THE SAME COP and I didn’t get ticketed either time. I’d tell you my secret if only I knew what it was…

  10. enm4r says:

    @Cowboys_fan: 3. ALWAYS take the breathalizer. Like all other machines, some days it just won’t work right and you may get off.

    That’s definitely not true in IL. In IL, you should definitely NOT take the test, and refuse at all costs. Generally this will result in a suspended license, but the state has a very hard time proving you were intoxicated if you refuse to take all tests. You can and should actually refuse ALL sobriety tests, if you have a likelihood of failing them. You don’t want to give them any test samples, and you don’t want to engage in anything that allows them to observe your movement/coordination.

    I imagine there are other states like this, but a flat “always take breathalyzer test” mandate is definitely not proper advice.

  11. @nffcnnr: I had a friend in law school who used to do this, only he would do official written discovery requests before the court date, asking for the calibration information on that particular gun AND the training cert for the cop using the gun. No police department ever bothered to answer his discovery requests, so he’d show up for court, protest to the judge that the police hadn’t responded to his discovery requests, and get the ticket dismissed. (He got ticketed a LOT.)

    He did this in Alabama and North Carolina that I know of. I don’t know if it would work in all jurisdictions. I also don’t know what would happen if the judge was in a particularly bad mood and thought you were being a smartass — if he continued the case and ordered discovery, it could quickly become a major pain in your ass.

  12. RandomHookup says:

    Myth #9: Online discussions are great places to get legal advice.

  13. choinski says:

    Or you can try honesty. I was pulled over. The first question the cop asked was “Do you know how fast you were going?” I replied “at least 75???” (The gun said 82). He went to his car to do the regular check, came back, and pretty much said that because I had a clean record and and pretty much didn’t make exceuses he would let me go with a warning.

  14. AndyMan1 says:

    @Cowboys_fan:
    I’ll let you test those theories first. It might get you off on a lesser crime, but I’d bet money that you’d be facing at least a cavity search in the process.

  15. JMB says:

    @enm4r: In some states (including Minnesota, where I live) refusing to take the breathalyzer is the same as blowing above the legal limit. So, in this case, it is probably a better idea to take the breathalyzer.

  16. The Stork says:

    A former co-worker was clocked at 90 in a 65 and since the cop was having a good day, he let him off easy by filling in “70″ as the offending speed. Being a habitual speeder, he went to court with those cheap traffic lawyers, challenged the calibration, and won since it was only five miles over the limit. Sad.

  17. homerjay says:

    I had an interesting ticket situation recently– I was pulled over for speeding (VERY) on a really busy street. When I saw him pulling me over I pulled onto a dead end side street and stopped there.

    When he came up to the window he said “What are you doing on this street” and I said “I’m going to Staples.” He said “NO, this little side street, why are you on this street?” to which I replied “So you didn’t have to get out on the busy main road.”

    He took my license and walked back to his car. He came back, handed me the warning (HUH??) and said “Slow down and thanks for pulling off the main road”

    I can be so fuckin’ sweet sometimes.

  18. easy2panic says:

    @BK88: As long as you are still following the speed limit going downhill, it should actually apear that you are going slower on a radar gun because since you are on an incline, laterally you are traveling at a slower rate than if the road was flat. – Usually in cop cars they have mounted radar systems (not guns so to say) that automatically detect the speeds of other cars and compinsate using the cop car’s speed, direction doesn’t matter, it still works.

  19. MoCo says:

    The biggest mistake people make when they go to court is to plead GUILTY. When contesting a ticket (or any charge) in court, the ONLY time that you should plead guilty is if you have made a deal (a “plea bargain”) with the prosecutor. Even if you KNOW that you did the crime, there is NO disadvantage to pleading NOT GUILTY (except if you’ve made a deal with the prosecutor, as mentioned above.) Pleading NOT GUILTY means, to a judge, that you want a trial. I repeat — pleading NOT GUILTY means “please hear me out and give me a trial”. Pleading NOT GUILTY, even if you did the crime, is NOT dishonest. Many people think that pleading GUILTY will cause the judge to cut them some slack for being honest. That is just not the case. If you’re going to go to court, always plead NOT GUILTY if you haven’t made a deal with the prosecutor.

  20. queen_elvis says:

    @enm4r: Some of the DUI lawyers I’ve done work for suggest that you politely refuse the breathalyzer, because it can be faulty. Although in some states, this will get you into MORE trouble. I personally recommend just not drinking and driving in the first place.

  21. enm4r says:

    @JMB: @queen_elvis: I agree, in many states refusing is an admission/interpreted as blowing above the legal limit. However, in IL it is not. That’s why this is definitely a state by state thing, and why I wanted to point out that simply blowing 100% of the time is not always the right move to take.

    Or, just not drink and drive, which I personally should involve jail time and be a felony charge in every single instance, but who am I to want safe roads?

  22. d0x says:

    I have only been pulled over for speeding once in my life. I was going 90 in a 55 and the cop was hiding around a sweeping corner.

    He asked me why I was speeding, if there was an emergency. I said no, and said I knew I was speeding and I was sorry.

    He came back a few min later and just gave me a warning and said to slow down which blew my mind because that would have been a HUUUUGE ticket.

    2 Other times I was pulled over for a headlight out. Both times i told the officer the truth, i told them the light had just recently gone out (my car loves to blow headlights) and i was going to get it replaced ASAP.

    Both time’s I was let go with no ticket. Point is if you’re honest and polite they might light you go with a verbal warning…or maybe I was just lucky.

    One time I did get a fine (doesnt count as a ticket), I had let my inspection lapse, it was 14 days overdue. I let it go because It needed a new exaust and I was waiting for a couple paychecks to afford it. The fine was suppose to be around $200, I went to court and talked to the Officer and got it lowered to $25 because I brought the repair bill, receipt from inspection and proof that I had paid my insurance in full for 2 years in advance thus proving im an honest and good driver.

    8 years of driving, no tickets, no accidents doesnt hurt either.

  23. backbroken says:

    Well, I received a ticket for going 51 in a 35. Went to court. There were about 20 people there for various traffic violations. The judge started the day by asking “Is there anyone here ready to plead guilty to speeding?” About 5 or 6 of us raised our hands. He then polled us individually, reviewed our violations, and gave us PBJ (probation before judgment). So no fine or points. Instead, he gave us all 8 hours of community service.

    I ended up being assigned to a recycling center. When I showed up for my service, it was just me and about 10 gang member tough guy types there to work at the center. The supervisor took one look at me, asked me what my offense was, laughed when i told him speeding, and then sent me home.

  24. cabedrgn says:

    A few years ago I got pulled over on I-4 in Orlando, FL for speeding. When I pulled over, I rolled down my window, turned off the car, gathered my information and waited for the cop to walk up, I had it ready for him and he went back to his car (shocked, I think) and came back asking if I knew why I was pulled over. I said yes and told him I was going with the flow of traffic and was probably 10 or so over the speed limit (I wasn’t paying attention to my speedometer). He thanked me for my honesty, politeness and full attention and gave me a verbal warning and let me be on my way.

    While its not always the smartest thing to admit fault, sometimes it will get you off. Cops (especially here in Orlando) usually hear every excuse in the book and at least where I live its difficult to fight (impatient, patronizing judges and always seemingly on time to court cops). I counted myself lucky and went on my way.

    One thing, always be polite even if you are in the right. Same goes for in court, you don’t know how many times working at the court house I’ve seen people end up worse off when fighting it while being rude and acting as if they are entitled to a dismissal just because they have money.

    If you are going to fight it, at least consult a lawyer. Respectable lawyers will usually give good advice. If they say “No matter what, you will be let off” run away.

  25. shepd says:

    Some more important notes:

    – Request the prosecution’s evidence ahead of time. If they introduce new evidence, you can ask the judge to dismiss the case due to prejudice. He might. If not, he will at least delay it until you receive the evidence.

    – If it’s a bylaw infraction, try to get a copy of the bylaw. In my city it is impossible to do, it isn’t at the library, city records refused to give me the latest one (“It would take months to find the newest copy!”) and the bylaw office wouldn’t help me. While it didn’t win the case for me, explaining the situation to the judge (“How can I defend myself without knowing what law I am accused of breaking?”) gained me 2 more months and a private courtroom setting, since it my case had to be specially heard. And the prosecution sent me a copy of the bylaws, of course. I cherish them dearly… :D Oddly enough, they included a complete list of the names of all the bylaw officers for the city. No, I’m far too nice to abuse that information.

    – Don’t let the prosecution testify. When I went to traffic court (two days in a row) I saw the defence let the prosecution testify at least a dozen times, mostly about signs at the city limits stating certain things. This is illegal, the prosecution can’t be sworn, therefore they may not testify. Request they bring a qualified party in to court to testify or request the remarks be stricken from the record. They tried it on me, and while I lost that case, the judge would have let me win if it weren’t for the base being absolute liability. If I had allowed the prosecution to testify, I don’t think the judge would have been so nice as to explain the flaw in my argument (he never did it for anyone else).

    – Unless you think it will help your case (it won’t) refuse to be questioned. You do not need to be questioned, and you have a right to make a closing statement. This is where you can say whatever is on your chest (if you must), since the prosecution can’t question you on it.

    – Don’t be afraid of the judge, but be respectful. A law in Ontario allows a defendant to collect $25 for his time and effort in fighting a ticket if they win. I did ask for this, and while the law states I should be paid, the judge and prosecution spent several minutes searching through law books to find case law specifying that it is only to be paid to people fighting a ticket they were convicted on. Oh, to live in a province with Civil law…

    FYST is a helpful website for Canadians fighting their tickets. Some of the advice is a bit dated, but it’s still useful.

    Best of luck!

  26. tastic says:

    @enm4r: In NJ, the penalty for a refusal is the same as a DUI conviction. Not so smart to refuse.

  27. lilyHaze says:

    I did NOT get a warning when I got my first (and only) ticket. I had just moved into the DC area two years ago and was speeding in a “speed trap.” The cop pulled me over. The cop asked if I knew that it was a speed trap. I replied that I had just moved here. I was hoping for a warning as I had never been stopped before.

    Sadly, I got ticketed, but it was for failing to obey a traffic sign (lesser offense). I still wished it had been a warning.

  28. Buran says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: why didn’t he just slow down?

  29. Chairman-Meow says:

    @Cowboys_fan:

    You do the toss the keys and crack a beer in Massachusetts, you’ll get hit with a worse offense since you are violating the open container law. Many states have this law to prevent the trick you are trying to do.

    Also, if you refuse the Breathalyzer, it is automatic 6 month suspension of license.

    Oh yeah, there’s another myth that was not on the list but floats around anyways. It goes like this:

    If you are DUI and you reach your house before they (the police) catch you, then they cannot arrest you. You see dumbasses trying this one all the time on COPS. Of course they all fail since there is no such law in the first place.

  30. karlmarx says:

    Every time I get pulled over, which knock on wood, hasn’t been over a year I am very polite to the officer, if he gives me a ticket, I make him call his supervisor out to discuss the ticket, if I at that point I haven’t go out of the ticket, I look for every petty argument that I can immediately file an Internal Affairs complaint, and I always do. I have filed an IA complaint on every ticket, and I have been able to get some of the officers in trouble, they have quotas, and at certain times will do anything they can to write that ticket..

  31. RandomHookup says:

    @d0x:

    my car loves to blow headlights

    There’s a joke in there somewhere, but damned if I can find it.

  32. ArtDonovansDrunkenLovechild says:

    I got a story. About a year ago I was leaving a bar in WV. Coming around a blind curve I sneezed and went slightly across the double yellow.. Instant flashers. Cop gives me the standard “you been drinking son” speech and makes me do the blow. I pass, having had one beer about 4 hours previously. He then becomes real friendly and tells me I have a headlight out and warns me to drive safe (Its 3am, so changing it is not an option). Not 3 miles further down the road another cop pulls me over. I sneeze again as I stop(a couple rapidly), and he ORDERS me out of the car. Apparently he thought I was yelling at him (who knows) and gives me a 150 ticket for driving an unsafe vehicle for that same headlight. Also makes me sit on the side of the road for 30 minutes. Little power trip. I ask him “shouldnt this just be a warning for a headlight” he goes “not for assholes that yell at cops”.

    I still havent paid the damn thing and havent heard a peep from anyone about it.

  33. mac-phisto says:

    if you ever get pulled over at night, shut your car off, turn your parking lights on, turn your dome light on, roll down your window & place both hands on the steering wheel.

    it may not get you out of a ticket, but it will sure as hell keep you from getting shot. remember that a police officer has no idea who or what s/he is confronting in a traffic stop. making it easier for the officer to assess the situation will disarm him/her & may result in no ticket at all.

  34. yg17 says:

    “He recalls one recent case in which the officer cited a white Mercedes when the defendant was actually driving a black Porsche.”
    How do you screw that up? Okay, I can see not knowing a thing about cars and maybe mixing up an SLR and a Carrera (after all, they’re both German sports cars, I guess that’s a good enough excuse), but we learned our colors in what, preschool? And this isn’t a case of black and dark blue either. That officer is too dumb to be protecting the people.

  35. enm4r says:

    @yg17: After explaining to the cop who was writing my ticket what Scion xB was, he listed it as a 2 door convertable. No joke. Cops seem to be the opposite of a bell curve, you’ve got the bottom of the barrel and some top notch guys, with no one falling in the middle.

  36. alicetheowl says:

    The first two times I got pulled over, I just paid the ticket. I know now that I should’ve contested the second one, because she had no way of knowing what speed I was going.

    I got a warning the third time, due to an expired inspection, which I fixed immediately. The fourth time I got a ticket for speeding, and I contested it in court. Because the officer couldn’t measure my speed exactly, the ticket was thrown out.

    I’ve been pulled over once since then, but, because I immediately pulled into a small parking lot away from traffic and was obviously hopelessly lost, and because I was polite to the police officer, he let me off with a warning, and gave me directions.

    This works best if your passenger has a street map unfolded on his lap, and is still consulting it while you speak with the policeman. If the address on your license is somewhere in that city, you probably don’t want to pull that one.

    Your best bet for challenging a speeding ticket is to show the officer couldn’t have tested you at the speed he (or she) said he did. Radar guns, when they move, have a margin of error of up to 30 MPH, so having the police officer demonstrate how he used the gun might help your case. (A friend who works for a newspaper tells me stories of people getting out of speeding tickets by a demonstration of a wall getting clocked at 15 MPH.) If there was another car that could’ve gotten caught in the radar, that’ll also help your case. Any sort of barriers to the police officer not being able to clock your speed precisely helps your case, even if you were speeding. He has to PROVE you were speeding; you don’t have to prove you weren’t.

    As for breathalyzer, NC law is that refusal to take a breathalyzer is the same as testing over the legal limit. I understand many states are adopting this policy, so you’ll want to watch out for refusing a breathalyzer, depending on where you live.

    Or just don’t drive drunk.

  37. Starfury says:

    Years back I was in traffic school and the cop told a story. He was on one of the main roads with his radar gun. he’s parked under a 35mph sign and every car he pulled over was doing 45. While he’s writing the 7th ticket a city truck pulls up, guy gets out, takes down the 35mph sign and replaces it with a 45mph sign. He lets the current guy go and then gives his boss the handful of tickets to fix since the city didn’t notify the police they were changing the speed limit on that road.

  38. rdm7234 says:

    Geez. The best way to save money is to stop beeing a crappy drive. Saves lives too, from my understanding.

  39. rdm7234 says:

    My apologies for misspelling “being.” But I can’t believe how many people here are advocating breaking the law.

  40. acambras says:

    @lilyHaze:

    Sometimes a ticket for a lesser offense is better, especially if it doesn’t go on your insurance. I was once pulled over for speeding, but instead of writing me a $75 speeding ticket, the officer wrote me a $25 “failure to wear seatbelt” ticket (even though I was wearing my seatbelt).

    Although I was relieved to “save” $50 and an insurance rate hike, I was still a little miffed at the seatbelt thing, because I always wear my seatbelt.

  41. jeff303 says:

    @tastic: He made it very clear on repeated posts he was talking about IL specifically and that you should know the relevant law for your state.

  42. When I was in high school my friend and I wanted to take her parents’ new vintage convertable out for a ride around the block before it had been registered. So to cover our bases (hah) we made ourselves a cardboard plate with the numbers from her mom’s Taurus and hit the road. We got pulled over within ten minutes and were threatened (very nicely)with arrest and having the car impounded when the second officer came back with our fake plate laughing his ass off.

    A third friend of ours had written silly insults about the two of us in little tiny letters all around the edged of our plate which the officer then read to us and asked for clarification on the in-jokes. While we waited for th tow truck to take the car back to her house and her parents to come pick us up, every other cop car in the city, 5 or so, stopped by so the other officers could laugh at us too.

    Moral: Entertaining the crap out of bored small town police officers can get you out of a ticket provided you weren’t being a danger.

  43. JayXJ says:

    @nffcnnr:

    The calibration sheet is a couple of check marks on a slip of paper, done with the rest of your start of shift paperwork, and attached to same at the end of the shift. Pretty rare that’t it’s not filled out.

  44. killavanilla says:

    My only tip is this:
    Get a good, trustworthy lawyer.
    A lawyer will have experience challenging radar calibration and will have a plethora of ways to help you get out of your ticket, or at least reduce the charge/fine.

  45. chrispiss says:

    @nffcnnr: Most cities have covered that loophole.

    Does anyone know if a ticket in a different state will affect your insurance rates, since some states have different traffic laws? I was watching the Gumball Rally and some of the drivers got some big tickets, but they weren’t worried because they were outside of their home state. It just didn’t sound right to me.

  46. JayXJ says:

    If you have a concealed weapons permit TELL the officer before getting your registration, insurance, etc., etc… Especially if he’s going to see the gun when you’re getting this stuff. “Offier, I have a conceled carry permit, there is a pistol in the glove box. Would you like me to step out of my vehicle?” Will be better than suddenly having a Ruger P-89D screwed about an inch into your left ear. Cops hate surprises.

    Personal ticket favorite: I got a “driving below minimum speed” ticket. Going uphill, in a loaded 18 wheeler, in the truck lane. It was in one of the Carolinas and just wasn’t worth trying to fight from several states away.

  47. Consumer-X says:

    Best way to get out of a ticket is to apologize to the officer when he pulls you over. Look normal, not angry and not whiny. Hot chicks: do nothing but look hot. 9 times out of 10 the cop will let you off with a warning.
    Wrong thing to say to motorcycle cop who just pulled you over: “Officer I like your boots, I didn’t know they made those for men…”

  48. EtherealStrife says:

    Sorry officer, I’m running late for my breast enhancement surgery.

  49. brennie says:

    Mac-Phisto, your advice might be okay if it’s a bunch of guys driving, but it’s the exact opposite of the advice law enforcement give to women. Keep driving to a well lit public place and DO NOT roll your window down. Make the officer produce believable identification and then MAYBE crack the window. I would never shut off the engine until I had done this.

  50. enm4r says:

    @brennie: Of course after you have slowed down, and put your hazards on to acknowledge the officer is trying to pull you over.

  51. The Walking Eye says:

    @enm4r: That can backfire too. I lived in TN for a little bit, and to renew my plates there, if I sent anything but the exact amount my check was returned and registration was not renewed. Not the same thing, but some states may have this rule.

  52. EtherealStrife says:

    @brennie: Macphisto’s seems like pretty good advice for everyone, regardless of sex. Just keep driving to a well lit area after putting on dome.
    Your advice is a guaranteed ticket unless you have one hell of a rack, and the LEO is interested in women. If you’re going to go your route, then make sure you have your breasts pressed firmly against the window when you ask for ID. It’s sad (especially for us guys… :-( ) but law enforcement is still heavily influenced by hotness.

  53. mac-phisto says:

    @brennie: you’re right. definitely want to make sure you’re safe, so crack ingthe window a bit (instead of all the way down) & driving to a more public place is definitely good advice. much better to get a ticket than to get carjacked, robbed, assaulted or worse.

    i remember reading about a woman that called 911 from her cell when she was getting pulled over b/c something didn’t seem right. turns out the man who was trying to pull her over was impersonating an officer & her call enabled police to dispatch an officer to the scene to arrest him.

    so, if in doubt, call 911.

  54. brennie says:

    I also just assume that I am going to get the ticket no matter what and then, as nicely as possible, proceed to waste as much of the officer’s time as I humanly can manage. My personal best a full half hour with a cop who was running a speed trap during rush hour.

    I take forever to find everything, ask for directions, and my favorite, about halfway through the ‘what I can do about the ticket’ spiel I get all wide eyed and say, wow! that’s a lot of information I need to write this down.” I get out a notebook and transcribe everything the cop says like a freshman on the first day of class. And when they finally go back to the cruiser, don’t budge. Wait for them to go first. The confusion with that alone eats up 3-4 minutes.

    My favorite was the cop I asked to help me spell ‘citation’ — and he couldn’t do it. It’s all Totally worth it to get to see the look on his face as hundreds of fish sped past him over the thirty minutes.

  55. GitEmSteveDave says:

    As the son of an ex-cop, I always keep in mind that the cop pulling me over may have a family, and just wants to get home safe and alive. When I pull over, I activate my 4 ways, turn off the stereo, roll down my window, put my hands and 10 and 2, and look straight ahead until the officer walks up and has a chance to check out the interior. I also announce EVERY move I make. When I open the glove box, I open it with one hand, let the cop see inside, then reach in slowly. Same goes for reaching into my pockets, jacket, etc. Don’t fumble inside the car before the cop comes up to your car. If he’s less on edge, he’ll be nicer. I also make sure to be polite, and respectful to the cop. Almost all cars nowadays have video and audio, and if you’re being respectful, and you happen to catch the 1 in 100 jerk cop, it could help you out later.

  56. Sudonum says:

    I could fill a column a mile with stories of how I got screwed or got screwed by the traffic court system in various states in the union. The only real point I wanted to add was on the discussion of breathalizer vs other tests. When I lived in CA, I was told by several DUI attorneys to refuse all tests but the blood test. This was in the 70′s and 80′s. If you got pulled over for a suspected DUI, a breath, blood or urine test was mandatory. The reason the lawyers recommended blood was that the police would have to call a lab tech to draw the blood, this was more time and effort and if it took long enough your BAL might fall below 1.0 which was the legal limit at the time.

  57. Sudonum says:

    oops, meant to say “how I screwed or got screwed by”

  58. Here is one you can use to win in court, BUT if you appear for yourself at the initial trial court you will probably loose as these misdemeanor judges kiss cop ass whenever possible, so you will probably have to appeal to get before a district court judge who won’t give a damn about offending the cops.

    The cop writes you a ticket out ‘in the field’ and you and he sign it, you get a copy for your information. Cop then takes the ticket, which is actually a criminal complaint, back to the station and at the end of the shift a supervisor notarizes his signature. The cop is swearing that his signature was subscribed and sworn to before the notary.

    However, he actually signed it ‘in the field’ and not before the notary. How can you prove this? Easy, your copy is not notarized but it has his and your signature on it. Plus only a real stupid cop would lie about when it was notarized as it is too easy to disprove. So the complaint is invalid on its face as the jurat says he signed it before the notary and clearly he presented it to the notary already signed.

    So a clear win for the motorist. Been there, done that. BUT the initial trial court will almost certainly go for the cop the exception would be if you hire an attorney to appear. Judges are more careful not to screw around with an attorney than if you just bring it up by yourself. Expect to loose the first time but you will win on appeal.

    ==============================

    The below site has zip to do with tickets but if you want to see the Target Corp. Secret Security Manual you can find it here:
    http://www.targetfiling.blogspot.com

  59. cde says:

    @Sudonum: I believe they have a formula of time vs BAC level to figure out if you were intoxicated during the stop compared to when they actually took it.

  60. DjDynasty says:

    Or you could do what I do, I live in the Chicago region, have a fairly famous last name, a family involved in politics, I have a F.O.P Medalion on my car, the Police & Fire Memorial license plates. The only thing remotely offensive is 1-20-09, The end of an Error. and Support our Military, bring them home!. The rest of the stickers always make cops laugh. “I want to be just like barbie, that bitch has everything” has gotten me out of more tickets than I care to remember. If I’m getting pulled over in an area that’s not close to home, which is normal, because my listed home address isn’t even my home anymore, my parents live there, and it’s cheaper car insurance, I always ask for directions to something super touristy, and recamendations on good food. And yes, I’ve taken out the notebook to write everything down they tell me, even when they tell me it’s all written on the back of the ticket to explain how.

    I had one cop bluntly ask what my excuse was. I said the condom broke 25 years ago, and here I am. After he composed himself, or attempted to, because once I had him laughing, I knew I was home free. Cops also question why I have police issue handcuffs hanging from my rearview mirror. My reply is typically X-Rated, and involves a bit of betting with how I can get out of any pair. One cop in town who arrested me for a domestic situation said I had to at least walk to the car wearing them before I popped my wrist and handed them back to him. Strangely I was arrested for my own safety. At that time domestic laws didn’t exist between same sex couples, So seeing as there was less of a chance of me comming home and destroying the house after being arrested, it was decided I would go to the station to cool off for the night. He never booked me in, just felt that we both needed time appart from each other.

  61. Kezzerxir says:

    I was riding with my friend in his Honda prelude going about 140 in a 65 on the highway. A cop saw us, but he didn’t radar us I don’t think. After a few minutes of hiding in traffic the cop pulled over to the side before the exit and waited for us to pass by then pulled us over. My friend Chris just through his license on the dash as was sure we were all going to jail. We had a lot of contraband in the car. The cop took all of our licenses and when he came back he just gave us a warning quickly. He ran back to his car and speed off. To this day I have no idea how we got out of that one.

  62. Sudonum says:

    @CDE
    Well since there isn’t any formula they can use to determine how drunk you are, I doubt there is a formula they could use to determine how much you sobered up. I’m pretty sure that would all vary by body weight, metabolism, food consumption and other variables.

  63. WV.Hillbilly says:

    If you take a breathalyzer, subpoena the source code. for the device.

    [news.com.com]

  64. tozmervo says:

    Glad to see that taking personal responsibility for breaking the law is alive and well at the Consumerist.

  65. @Buran: I asked him that a LOT. I think he mostly just objected to the government in general and to not being able to drive as fast as he wanted in particular.

    @all: Another thing I heard (aside from the 10-and-2, no sudden moves, ultra-polite) is to “accidentally” promote the officer to the next rank up to flatter him and put him in a good mood. This would require knowing the difference, which I don’t, and I don’t get pulled over often enough to have tried it. Has anyone else?

  66. Quaoar says:

    I have a perfect driving record at age 60. No, I am not a perfect driver. I have avoided three potential traffic tickets for many mph over the limit by doing one thing: If I see a trooper that has a view of my speeding, I pull over, put on my flashers, and wait.

    Three times: two “have a nice day, and check your speed” and one “sorry to issue you a warning, have a nice day”. One of the first was a trooper going off shift, and he didn’t want to take the time to issue the ticket.

    My time must be coming up soon!

    My wife and adult son, on the other hand… My wife was pulled over in Oklahoma and the trooper had his weapon drawn, the flood lights on, speaking through the car’s bullhorn. She fainted when she got out of the car with her hands on her head. Trooper: Sorry, your car looked like a BOLO stolen car. She shook for three days.

  67. cde says:

    @Sudonum: Yes there is. When you are stopped for a dui, and fail the field breathalyzer, you are given a second breathalyzer or blood test later on at the station to confirm the fieldtest. The formula is then used to verify the original breathalyer, to prevent false convictions.

  68. XTC46 says:

    The best advice ive been given about stuff like this is the following.

    1. Pull over as far as possible (or to a side street if possible) so the cop isn’t on a busy street standing there.
    2. Turn off your engine, roll down your window (if its dark out, turn on your dome light)
    3. Put both hands on the steering wheel and don’t say anything except for answering the police officers questions (and asking your own once hes done explaining)
    4. When reaching for anything (wallet, reg. insurance, etc) say “is it OK if I reach for my X its in my Y”

    The reason for all of this is because when a cop pulls you over, he has to worry about his safety, the more comfortable they are, the nicer they are. All this makes them more comfortable and feel safer than if they are standing on a busy street and some guy is fidgeting around in a dark car. My uncle (a police officer) gave me this advice. Ive been pulled over at least 6 times in the last 3 years for various things and got 1 ticket (I was speeding and it was puring rain out so it was really dumb of me) Every other time, i’ve gotten a verbal warning. My own little thing that I do if im missing a document (i.e. safety check) or a tail light is out, is I pull out my PDA and take a note to get it fixed. I then reconfrim the details of the problem “ok, you said it was the drivers tail light?” then write it down. works every time.

  69. AbstractConcept says:

    @enm4r: or you could just not drink and drive…

  70. homeland says:

    my favorite myth, having a military id is a get out of ticket card! Two pullover 2 warnings.

  71. ltlbbynthn says:

    You gotta be polite. was pulled over going 80 in a 40 mph, at 2am, with a provisional license, and I’d even lost my license a few days earlier. I was real nice to the cop, told him I lost my license and he let me go. Cool guy! He could have had my car impounded.

  72. Sudonum says:

    @cde:
    Can you send me a link? I believe in the instance you cite, they already have your first breathalyzer as a baseline, and are using the second as confirmation that you failed. With a blood test they have no baseline.

  73. Sudonum says:

    @cde:
    Is this what you’re referring to?

    From Wikipedia

    “The breathalyzer test is usually administered at a police station, commonly an hour or so after the arrest. Although this gives the BAC at the time of testing, it does not by itself answer the question of what it was at the time of driving. The prosecution typically provides evidence of this in the form of retrograde extrapolation. Usually presented in the form of an expert opinion, this involves projecting the BAC backwards in time-that is, estimating the probable BAC at the time of driving by applying mathematical formula, commonly the Widmark factor. This process, however, has been the subject of considerable criticism.”

    And after reading the whole entry on Breathalyzers if I am ever stupid or drunk enough to DWI, I’ll stick with the blood test.

  74. cde says:

    @Sudonum: Yes. And with the blood test, they do it twice within a span of one hour. If your BAC rises in that span, most likely you were not intoxicated while driving, atleast not past the limit. If it falls, it is used as a basis for a possible intoxication level, which the prosicution will try to establish was your BAC while you were driving.

  75. Mary says:

    I was raised by a cop, and most of the things he taught me have cropped up here:

    -Hands at 10 and 2 from the second you pull over. The ONLY thing I take the time to do first is turn off the radio.
    -Announce every move you’re making. “My license is in my purse, hold on one moment…” “The registration is the glove box…”
    -Be as polite as possible at ALL TIMES. Even if they are rude to you, be polite back to them. No jokes, no BS. Yes Sir, No Ma’am, the whole nine yards. If you don’t get them them a reason, anything they do to you is then their fault.

    The biggest thing my parents taught me: if you’re speeding, you are breaking the law. Getting out of tickets is trying to get away with illegal actions. If you’re speeding, you accept your ticket and your consequences. If you weren’t doing anything wrong, then you can fight it. I’ve never once been pulled over that I didn’t deserve it.

    I got pulled over most recently not a half hour after a neighbor made a joke about how we must have gotten a ton of tickets in our hot new roadster.

    I get pulled over, and at one point the officer looks at the emblem on the back and says, “This is a Pontiac?”

    “Yes sir.”

    “I called in and told them I was pulling over a Corvette…oops.”

    I can’t help but feel better that after he gave me a ticket he’d have to call back and make the correction. I’m sure they teased him for that.

  76. Matthew says:

    Number 1 Best Tip: Slow down, asshole

  77. MrEvil says:

    There are just some places that are a veritable no-man’s land. Like the Interstates in and around Dallas. The Speed limit is 60mph on I-35E. Well, speeding 10mph over the limit and cars still fly past you like you’re standing still. I mean EVERYBODY is doing 80, semis, 80′s Mack dump trucks, got passed by a Geo Metro on my last trip even. The Police won’t pull you over either, my guess is due to the ultra-crowded highway and no safe place to pull you over at.

    Now I-40 through the Texas Panhandle, you better keep your cruise at 67mph because the Texas Highway Patrol will put one trooper every 5 miles.

    Oh, and Military ID does nothing for Texas state troopers, they will still give you the ticket. I’m just happy I don’t speed and know all the troopers that work out of the Amarillo office (I’ve fixed nearly all of their laptops).