Have you ever been given a break by the cops?

All these cops threads have made me think how lucky I am that things went my way.

Back in the late 70s, early 80s drinking and driving attitudes were no where near as strict as they are now. (And that’s a good thing.)

Me and my friends got pulled over numerous times for open containers in the car, and the fine was $53 that we could split 3, 4, 5 ways and that was it. The cops confiscated what we had left but always let us drive away.

So, one time, me and a friend were driving from Sarnia, Ontario to Detroit for a Yes concert at Joe Louis arena. We were underage in Michigan but had a contact in Port Huron who bought some beer for us. We had a couple of beers and doobies at this contact’s place and then hit the road for another couple of doobies and beer. About half way to Detroit on the I-94 we were cruising along and drinking our Budweisers when I glanced to my left and saw a state police car a couple of lanes over, and he saw me swigging on my Bud.

So, on go the lights and we’re fucked. My friend was also just starting to trip on acid. He shoved the bag of weed down his pants and we pulled off the highway.

We were as polite and considerate and humble as you can imagine at this point. After much discussion (during which my friend was really starting to lose control) the state cops asked us to put the rest of the beer in the trunk of my dad’s car, and promise not to drink any more that evening. Of course we complied and felt like the luckiest bastards in the universe.

About 5 miles later we pulled over and got the beer out of the trunk!

When we got to the Joe about 30 minutes later my friend was so messed up that we couldn’t even reach our floor seats in front of the revolving stage. We watched the show from the nose-bleed level and I thanked my lucky stars we made it through the evening.

What’s your “got away with it” story?"

I dont want to get into specifics but i have been given breaks by cops. And i absolutely did NOT deserve the breaks that I got but I am totally convinced I was given preferential treatment because of my disability. I don’t like such treatment and I feel that it is most often given because the (would-be) arresting officer either isnt quite sure on procedure for such events or just doesnt want to deal with the hassle. That being said, I didnt argue with the cop that he MUST arrest me. :wink:

I’ve been stopped quite a few times over the years for minor traffic infractions (speeding, brake or license plate lights burned out) and let go with a caution and no ticket. For which I am always gushingly, even slavishly, grateful. And at one point ended up dating a State trooper who pulled me over for speeding. I’ve also been handed a few tickets which, meh, I deserved, paid, and life went on.

However I am female, white, no wants or warrants, clean driving record and ze papers all in order. So I don’t know how much was luck, and how much just my demographics and generally being a law-abiding white citizen.

I got pulled over for speeding one time and I had forgotten to bring my wallet and license with me. But I was able to recite my drivers license number off from memory, the cop looked me up back in the car, and let me off with a warning.

Cool. I also know my driver’s licence number by heart.

140 kph on an Ontario 90 kph highway. Chatted with the officer for a while – a genuinely nice conversation. No ticket. Have never sped like that since and don’t intend to do so ever again. Learned my lesson.

Contrast this to the USA. Locked up for an afternoon in a Wisconsin county sheriff’s cell for being a passenger in a pickup truck that was not speeding, was being driven properly, and was in good mechanical condition. The fat fucker wanted money, and we had out-of-country plates. He made us follow him twenty miles off the highway to his country seat, and locked us up until payment was made. When he said that we would be billed for dinner and staying in the cell overnight, payment was made by credit card, which was cancelled once we were across the border. Later on that same trip while I was driving at the speed limit, we were pulled over in Detroit by a car with a flashing red light on its dash. The asshole that stepped out and walked toward us was wearing a wife beater. I beat it to the border, figuring it was either another crooked cop or someone pretending to be a cop.

Count yourself lucky. Me and a bunch of people I know drive highway 17 from Ottawa to Chalk River often. You can get away with 110 on the 90 kph highway, but one of my buds has been nailed 4 times in the last few years for going 120. 110, they won’t even look at you.

I was stopped by a cop once for a burnt-out headlight and the cop didn’t shoot me. Another time, I was stopped by a cop for a burnt-out tail light (actually it was a burnt fuse), and he didn’t shoot me either. Another time I was stopped for making a left turn just as the left-turn light turned red and he said I ran the red light, but he didn’t shoot me even for that. And once, while watching a public parade, I asked a cop how much farther down the road the end of the parade route was. Well, that cop chewed my ass out just for being such a troublemaker as to interrupt his thoughts to ask him a question, but even after all that he didn’t shoot me. So I guess I’ve been cut a lot of slack by a lot of cops.

ETA: I should add, these incidents all happened in different cities.

ETA-2: Oh, and there was that time I was pulled over on a stretch of rural highway at 3 in the morning because the cop said he thought he saw me do “something funny” but he couldn’t describe it in any more detail than that. (I think I half-way changed lanes and changed my mind and moved back to the original lane, and that’s what he saw.) But he didn’t shoot me either.

Back when I wore white stockings to work they saved me a couple of speeding tickets- policemen in RI are often married to nurses, and I had an Irish last name, and was driving a beater en route to the local hospital.

Off the top of my head, I’ve been pulled over at least six times with just a warning. That’s about equal to how many times I’ve gotten a ticket, plus or minus one.

Well, there was that time I pulled off the Interstate onto the shoulder of an off ramp in the middle of nowhere. My son had a nosebleed and needed help. A few seconds after I stopped, the largest wasp you have ever seen flew into the car through the door I had just cracked.

About 3 seconds later both my kids were shrieking their heads off, out of the car, running up the shoulder AWAY from the wasp. And me. My son’s shirt is covered in blood and I am yelling at them both to “STOP”.

Which is when the “whoop” short siren burst happens, and the state police roll up.

They were very nice. And the kids came right back. We explained the nosebleed and the wasp. The wasp had left through the open door by then of course. All in all, it could have been far worse. No tickets, just some funny looks.

Pulled over for not having the cover on my rear brake light on my Honda 70. Cop suggested rubbing a bit of lipstick on it. Asked me to walk the bike home - it was midnight, I was setting off to drive 16 miles out into the country. Told me to be careful. In those days once I was out of the city I would turn off all the bike lights, take off my helmet and drive by the light of the silvery moon. :eek:

Pulled over for driving the wrong way down a one way street. Immediately pulled over by the cops. Cop asks me if I know what I did wrong. I said yes, I apologized, I had got confused - there was no traffic on the road. Cops said if I’d not been honest or really didn’t know what I’d done wrong they would have booked me. I had a bunch of drunk and stoned friends in the car all yelling advice. I was the sober driver. My passengers would not shut up and the cops ended up pulling two of them out of the car and patting them down all the while appologising to me. Boy was I tempted to say “keep 'em”. Note to passengers in car: Shut the fuck up.

My mother instilled in me that the police have the power to lock me up. Use common sense to avoid that.

My buddy and I, who were 19 at the time and home from college for the holidays, got hold of a bottle and drove out a little-traveled road to have a drink on New Year’s Eve. We figured we wouldn’t be bothered by cops. My friend had found a party hat on the street and was wearing it as we sat having a drink in his old Jeep in the middle of a snowy dirt road outside of Anchorage.

Suddenly he says “car coming”. I looked over my shoulder and as the car got closer I could see the roof rack and told my friend to get out and open the hood of the Jeep and pretend there was something wrong. I opened my door (this clunker had no dome light) and pitched the bottle into a snow bank.

At this point the flashers came on behind us as the cop pulled up to our little charade. Jim had the hood up by this time and started back for the driver’s door, when a gust of wind blew his party hat off. “My hat!” he shouts, and goes chasing after it, falling waist deep in the snow off the side of the road. The cop is just standing by the side of his car with a bemused expression on his face, and I’m thinking “We are sooooo fucked.”

Jim wades back out of the snow with a goofy grin on his face, holds up the hat and says to the cop “Got it!” “Good for you. Could you return to your vehicle, please?”

He walks up, shines a light inside and asks if we’ve been drinking (there was still a cup sitting on the transmission hump). “Oh, nonononono. We’re just home from college and we were driving out this road and the Jeep died and so we’re just waiting for mumblemumblemumble.” The cop asks Jim to try to start it, and it starts. “Oh, how about that?” Jim says. “I want you guys to get on home. It’s dangerous to sit on a road with no lights on.” “Yes, sir!” In unison.

The cop went back to his car and pulled around us and just left. Couldn’t believe our luck. The best part is that the booze bottle landed right side up in the snow.

Back in the days when I spent nearly as much time keeping my cars running as driving them, I went for a test drive (and to pick up my wife from work) only to find that something was terribly wrong with the timing - I couldn’t let the engine drop to idle lest it quit and be very hard to start. I was coming up an offramp that ended in a stop sign, and with all the care I could muster I ran it (there was no traffic).

Bang, highway patrol pulls me over. I explained, showed my greasy hands and shirt, and told him if I’d stopped I would have rolled backwards all the way back onto the freeway. Right at that moment his grille speaker squawked and put out a 901A (accident with injuries) call, and he kind of scratched his head, said, “Don’t do it again,” and rocketed off to the other call.

My favorite one:
It was late at night and about an hour before some nasty weather had rolled through so the roads were very, very slippery and totally iced over. I was driving a big rear wheel drive Econoline cargo van. I was also a 16 year old new driver (family business and after work I’d get the work van as my personal car).
So, I’m leaving my friend’s house, driving down the main road. It’s empty since no one is out in this weather but I need to get home. The light in front of me turns yellow, then red. I start applying the brakes, but each time I do it, I can feel the van fishtailing a little. It’s a three way intersection, a slow down as much as I can, probably to 10 or so (well above a rolling stop) and continue through the intersection.

A few blocks later I see the police lights, I put on my seatbelt, and slide right into the curb/snowbank (it was really slippery out).

The cop comes over to me and the first thing he does is make a comment that he could see me put on my seatbelt through the back window of the van.

He asked me why I rolled through the intersection. I explained to him that I slowed down as much as I could but I could tell I was starting to slide and that if I tried to totally stop I would have just skidded through it and probably ended up sideways and totally out of control so I looked, didn’t see any traffic approaching from any direction and felt it was safer to just run the red (or maybe flashing) light then to risk sliding through it. He asked me what I would have done if there was another car coming and I said something like “I would have done my best to stop”. He seemed satisfied with my answer, gave me a $10 ticket for not wearing my seatbelt and said ‘do you have any other questions’. I asked him if he thought I was stuck in the snowbank on the side of the road since I hit it pretty hard. He helped me get out of it and off I went.

To this day, I’m totally convinced that if I had my seat belt on I probably would have gotten a ticket for running the light. But since I didn’t have my seat belt on he got to give me a ticket for something.

Many times. The one I like best was back in 1980. I was driving a classic car to a convention in Williamsburg - a 1959 Edsel Villager wagon. I had a tape player hidden under the seat and was just cruising when I saw the bubble-gum machines light up behind me. I did that fast “aw shit” look at the speedo and saw it was at about 100. And worse, the cop was one of the Maryland “Super Bees” Staties who had a reputation for bigger jackboots than our mods. I got the license and registration out and handed them over as he walked up.

I put my head down and said “no argument - this is the first time I’ve had it on the highway and I just didn’t feel the speed. My last car was a Pinto and it went nuts at 65 let alone something like this”.

He walked around the car about three times and handed me back my paperwork with no ticket and a warning to watch it; most of his buddies weren’t as understanding as he was. I heard and I obeyed.

Why anyone thinks they are invisible inside their cars, especially to trained and experienced observers like motor cops, is a mystery for the ages. :slight_smile:

Ha! Back in the same days as my story above, driving cars that really let me know I was doing 60 (and the car in question above was also a Pinto), I drove a company car, a Chevy X-car, up the hills to Nevada. I was cruising at about 85 - this in the early 55 days - when I looked back and saw a black and white cresting one hill after another, obviously coming for me. This was the days of the wheezing Dodge cop cars that would only exceed 90 on the downhill, so the cop, a young one, came up to me with a grin and said, “I thought I was going to have to call ahead on you.” So we joked about his car and I told him I had no idea I was going very fast because this car was so quiet compared to my beater. He wrote me up anyway… but with about a 25 MPH discount that made it a minor infraction instead of a potential license-loser.

I was almost late for work and went through a light that was turning red. The police pulled me and said I should be more careful on a small motorbike (only 16 years old, so 50cc is the biggest engine allowed), as you can’t accelerate out of trouble. I said sorry and I’d be more careful next time.

One night I was with my girlfriend, driving back from a club in London. I’d not drunk a thing, just taken some (legal) herbal highs. We were going down a very dark, quiet, windy country lane when I saw lights in my mirror. I pulled over and the policeman came to my door, putting his head right into my open window (probably smelling for beer) and said “Confucius say do not speed with police behind you.” I was a little taken aback, and mumbled an apology, didn’t know I was speeding etc and the girlfriend did the same. No ticket.

One time I definitely was over the limit, around 2am, I went to a local 24 hour garage for cigarettes. The drive was along an empty two lane highway, out in the country, for about three miles, turn left at the roundabout and swing into the garage. Only this time when I swung into the garage a police car was there and the two policemen were in the garage. I couldn’t go in, as I might’ve smelled of alcohol (vodka), so I swung right out and headed back home. They quickly caught up to me and put their lights on. Oh shit. I nearly panicked and floored it but then thought what a totally fucking stupid idea that would be and pulled over. One questioned me while the other ran a check on my car. He didn’t ask why I didn’t stop in the garage - it was pretty obvious why - but did ask why I delayed pulling over into the layby. I said I didn’t see the layby. He asked where I was going; (deep breath, apparently doing so before speaking means you’re less likely to slur) “Silsden” and where I’d come from; (another deep breath) “Silsden.” He said drive carefully and let me go. That area is very rural, and without a license you’re pretty stuck.

Biked where you’re not supposed to. The cop gave me a stern talking to, I acted all contrite and “yes sir, absolutely sir, never again sir.” No fine.

Ooh, another favorite one.

Tearing down a county highway, I don’t remember how fast I was going or what the speed limit was, but let’s assuming I was speeding.
I must have zoned out a bit because I looked out my passenger window just in time to see a stop sign zip by (whoops), then looked in my driver side window to see a cop waiting to go…how convenient.
I drove about a mile to the next stop sign and couldn’t believe he was gone. Did he not see me run a stop sign? Was it just a two way sign and not for me?
Nope, he was around my right side motioning for me to roll down my window. He yelled at me for about 15 seconds about how I could have killed him if he had pulled out into the intersection and then drove away.