When the police stop your car

In 1999 I was in a hurry to go see a lady friend in Albuquerque, and speeding down there from Durango.

It was a two line highway in NM at 3am. I got stopped. I saw the officer walking up on the left side of my SUV. I was in a hurry so reached for my registration and insurance in the glove box. As I did so, I saw the officer’s partner in the right rear view, and his weapon was just clearing the holster. I did the right thing, moving slowly back and raising my hands. I WAS VERY STUPID. The officer did the right thing. He didn’t know if I had a 9mm or anything else in there, especially since there was a great deal of drug running on that road.

The first officer told me to put hands down on the steering wheel and then to put window down and hands back on steering wheel. I did so. He asked me if I knew what I did wrong. I said I did and it was very stupid. He agreed. He then had me drop glovebox door and put hands back on wheel so his partner could see what was in the glove box. Just the papers. He then had me get them out, and we dealt with the speeding. Fortunately since I cooperated and they didn’t want to haul me to jail some 75 miles away, they only wrote me up for 85 in a 55. I was clocked at 93, which would have been mandatory jail, as well as having my 4Runner towed 75 miles.

I was reminded of a lesson that I already knew….when you’re stopped for ANY reason the answer is always “Yes Sir” and “No Sir” (or ma’am as may be appropriate). You don’t ever volunteer information, you don’t plead or beg or tell sob stories.

Or as I’ve learned as good advice for all, and wish I’d learned it long ago:

Show Up, Suit Up, Shut Up, and Follow Directions.


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