Citation: Istari. "Pulled Over and Pressured: An Experience with Police (exp31369)". Erowid.org. Feb 29, 2004. erowid.org/exp/31369
I'll do my best to quickly recount this experience - its fresh in my mind as it just happened about 45 minutes ago. Background info: I'm an 18 year old male who is fairly well dressed and well spoken (this matters when talking with cops).
I was five minutes away from my house, when a cop appeared behind me and turned on his lights. I was coming home from my girlfriends house, and it was around 1am. I had just made a quick stop at safeway for some DXM. The cough syrup box was clearly visible on the passenger seat. At the time I was pulled over, I was 100% sober, and had not used any substances in the last 24 hours.
He got my license and registration and proof of insurance. Then, he asked me a TON of questions. He asked about where I was coming from, and whether I had stopped anywhere on the way home (I told him I had dropped by Safeway). Next up, he wanted to know whether I had been drinking at all tonight. Man, about 20 minutes earlier I had been thinking about stopping and picking up a six back of brew on the way home (I'm not 21, but have an ID), and boy am I ever glad that I didn't do that. Anyways, I assured him that I had not had any alcoholic beverages whatsoever. He noticed I had a stamp on my hand, and seemed to think that it was from a club or bar or something. I told him it was from a high school basketball game (it was), but he didn't seem to believe me. IT TOOK ME LIKE 30 SECONDS TO REMEMBER WHERE THE STAMP WAS FROM. I was freaking out, I knew that I had the stamp from something legitimate, but for the life of me I couldn't remember where I had my hand stamped at. The cop was eyeing me pretty suspiciously. Oh, and the reason he pulled me over: I was riding the center lane in the street (the lanes were really narrow).
This is where it gets a little bit more interesting. He asked me if I would step out of the car to do some tests so that he would be sure that I was sober. I'm not sure exactly why, but I instinctively told him no. This is something that I've probably learned from research here on police interactions, and what to do when you're pulled over. The cop, who was being a dick by now, got pissy when I said I didn't want to perform any field sobriety tests. I told him I was tired and wanted to get home (thank you erowid! always have this line ready if you get pulled over and they want to search you or something). He said it was going to be a LONG time before I got home, and went back to his car to check my drivers license and insurance and all that.
5 minutes or so later, he comes back. He gives me my stuff back, and starts rambling about random stuff... How my voice is quivering, how I have to be either a bit drunk or just a bad driver, asking why in the world am I against FST's, etc. Man, did he ever give me a lecture about sobriety tests, talking about how the average citizen has a right to be protected from drunk drivers, etc.
Anyways, I was a bit nervous about having a thing of cough syrup in the seat right next to me, but he apparently didn't notice it, or didn't care. But he sure did shine his flashlight ALL over the freaking car. If I had had a six pack in there, even in one of those cheap plastic bags that you always get from corner markets, I would've been SCREWED. He spent a good 3 minutes shining the flashlight all over the freaking place.
Well, eventually he told me to park my car in the parking lot right next to where we were. He goes back to his car while I do this, and then he just drives right off. I sat around for a while, and after he didn't come back, I went home. It was wierd, I was positive he was gonna come give me hell once I had moved my car off the street, but he just drove off..
In retrospect, I should've just submitted to a simple field sobriety test to get him to let me go home. But it was an interesting experience that is good preperation in case I ever do get pulled over and have drugs on me or have something to hide. And he used a LOT of intimidation tactics.. he talked about arresting me, about how stupid my opinions on FST's were, about how I was a bad driver, how he didn't appreciate people lying to him, and so on. DONT FALL FOR THIS, just keep your cool.
Thats all. Hope this helps someone else. Remember, 'I'm tired officer, and I'd really just like to get home.' And PLEASE, don't go driving while youre drunk or high, its not smart. But at least be prepared in case you ever put yourself in a bad situation and you get pulled over.
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