how to avoid getting hauled off to the pokey

This past weekend was pretty low-key. Since Dave and I have been doing more than our fair share of home improvements over the past few weeks, we decided that this holiday weekend would be literally that, a holiday. We really didn’t do much of anything, we watched a lot of “Sopranos” on DVD (I now have Dave hooked), played a lot of video games, and took a lot of naps. It was lovely.

Friday night, however, we went to a Canada Day party at the home of one of Dave’s co-workers and his wife. Obviously, they’re Canadian, but we like them anyway. (That’s a joke! I love Canadians! Don’t send me hate mail!) I had a really good time. I had a headache so I volunteered to be our designated driver, which was fun for me because I hardly ever see Dave get drunk. On the rare occasions that he does have a few too many, you can almost guarantee that I’ve had twice as much, so I tend not to notice his drunkenness when I myself am bombed out of my skull. But on the night when all I was drinking was water, it was pretty obvious how much he had imbibed, and it was damn funny. They started playing some sort of drinking game that involves cards, and I think everyone was pretty much completely hammered after that. Good times.

The odd thing about the evening was that well over half of the people in attendance (including me) had lived in Memphis at some point. How they all ended up at a Canada Day party in the Pacific Northwest is beyond me. One of the women there even graduated from the University of Memphis at the same time as me – she majored in a completely different area, so I didn’t know her, but that was still a very odd coincidence. Greatest line of the night, which only my fellow southerners will understand:

Drunk southern guy (talking about the drinking game they were playing): “How did I lose?? I have all kings and aces!”
Slightly-less-drunk southern girl: “Because you’re not in Tunica, jackass!”

On the way home, I got pulled over for running a red light. I was really tired so I admit that I might not have been at my most attentive, but I’m still not sure if I believe that the light was really red or if the cop just wanted to mess with me. But I managed to get off with a warning, thanks to some ever-so-useful tips that I got in college from my friend Becky. She once got pulled over when I was with her – we were 21 at the time and had both been drinking – and the cop let us go without even asking us if we were drunk. These are the tips she gave me on how to avoid tickets, which I have never forgotten, and which I shall now share with you:

1. Be polite. Always say “sir” or “ma’am.”

2. Turn the engine and the radio off as soon as you pull over.

3. Have your window rolled down and your license out by the time the cop gets to the window.

4. Don’t lie and act like you don’t know what you did, just apologize. Or in my case, I genuinely didn’t know what I had done, but when he told me, I told him that if he said that I ran the red light, then I must have, and I was very sorry.

That’s it, really. He looked at my license, asked me if I was heading home to Duvall. I said “yes, sir,” and he told me to be careful because there were a lot of drunks on the road. (I suppose that’s true anytime on a Friday night after midnight, but particularly so on holiday weekends.) I told him that was the reason why I was driving, because my husband had had a few drinks earlier, and I gestured over at Dave in the passenger seat. He thanked me for doing my part (!) and told me to drive safely. The end. Politeness works, folks. Say thank you to Becky the next time this works and you successfully get out of a ticket.

3 thoughts on “how to avoid getting hauled off to the pokey

  1. Add this to your list:

    If it’s dark when you get pulled over, turn on the dome light inside the car. The cop will appreciate the fact that he can see what’s going on inside your car, and not have to worry that you might be reaching for a gun or something.

  2. one of my majors in undergrad was criminal justice, and sadly, the dome-light tidbit is one of the few things I remember from my entire Law Enforcment class.

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