I have two, the first relatively simple, the second extremely complicated. These are gonna be long, so skip ahead if you’re not interested.
- I was working for a radio station that was located about 20 minutes by freeway from my home. I was to be working the morning drive show that week, so I had to be in by 5:45. I was heading down 77 south out of Cleveland, going the speed limit, which is 60 there. In fact, I was going slightly under.
I come upon a police car. He is in front of me, doing no more than 50. So, I do what anyone would do; I put on my signal, got over, and sped up to no more than 55 and passed him.
As soon as I pull back in, on come the flashers–he pullsme over. I sit there while he calls it in. Finally he comes up, I have my license ready. He asks, “What do you think you’re doing?” I reply, “I’m sorry?”
He says, “What do you think you’re doing, passing me? Making me look bad? You don’t pass a cop?” I’m flabbergasted! I replied, “I don’t understand. Was I speeding, or commit an illegal action?”
He replies, “No, but you don’t just pass a cop like that. You don’t do that.” I looked him right in the eye, and said, “Are you ticketing me for something?” He gave me back my license and walked away. I shoulda got that motherfucker’s badge number and gone right to the station after work.
- I’ll start this one by copping to a traffic offense; I had gotten stopped for speeding in one of the suburbs, and had completely forgotten about paying the ticket. I admit it.
So, because of the unpaid ticket, my license was placed under administrative suspension. Problem was, I didn’t know it. When they mailed me the notification, I had moved, and the Ohio BMV doesn’t allow those to be forwarded.
So, around the second week of December (about 8 months later), my wife and I had rented a car (we didn’t own one anymore) to pick up a TV we were buying. I was planning on renewing my license the next day, as it had expired on my birthday, Nov. 27. Had the following not occurred, I would have discovered the suspension the next day at the license bureau, paid the ticket, and gone on with my life.
We were sitting at a stoplight, and I turned to look at something to my left. The light turned green. The person behind me honks, I turn back around, go through the light, and give them a little “Whoops!” wave in the rearview. On come the flashers–it’s a cop, and I’m convinced to this day that he thinks I flipped him off.
So, the routine begins, he takes my license. Only this time, he comes back and says, “Please step out of the car, sir.” he frisks me, then takes me over and tosses me in the back of the squad car. My wife has no idea what’s going on.
That’s when I find out my license has been suspended. I tell the cop this is news to me. He says, “Don’t you dare fucking lie to me. You know. That’s why you didn’t renew it.” I tell him, “No, I didn’t renew it because I don’t own a car, and was waiting until this week when I knew I’d have a rental and could get to the license bureau.” He replies, “You’re a liar.”
He then goes on to accuse me of stealing the car, saying, “What are you doing driving a car with out-of-state plates? And where did you get the television?”. I produce the rental receipt and the receipt for the TV. He says, “It’s a good thing your wife is with you and she’s licensed, or you’d be going to jail.” He ticketed me for driving under suspension, and reckless operation. Reckless operation!
When I finally had my court date, I pled “No contest.” The judge asked me what the story was. I told him, and he said a few unkind words about the cops and the BMV, dismissed the reckless op charge, and reduced the other from driving under suspension to not having my license at the time of the stop.