By Jordan W. Charness; photo courtesy PTSOTL.com
After a long period of relative quiet, Peter seems to have gone on quite a rampage, at least when it comes to driving infractions. I’m always interested and sometimes amazed to see how his mind works, and particularly how he can try to justify the unjustifiable and excuse the inexcusable. What do you think of his most recent adventure?
Apparently Peter was pulled over for erratic driving. Not that he was driving dangerously, but rather he was driving in a manner that caused the police to pull him over to check and see if he was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. (For the record, Peter never drives after drinking and never does illegal drugs!)
What he was doing, however, was driving up to an intersection and slowing down and then speeding up again and then slowing down at the next one and speeding up once more. He was doing all this in the city and never exceeded the speed limit, but certainly confused the drivers behind him. The police watched this stop and go show for a few blocks before they hit their sirens and lights.
Peter immediately pulled over and waited for the police officers with a quizzical expression on his face. Before getting out of their car the officers checked his licence plate to make sure that the car wasn’t stolen and that there were no outstanding warrants at least for the owner of the vehicle. Everything checked out just fine.
The cop asked Peter for his driver’s licence and registration and proof of insurance. Peter immediately complied and then asked what this was all about. The police officer told Peter that he had been driving in an erratic manner and that they had probable cause to believe that he might be driving while under the influence.
The police are not allowed to pull you over unless they have some good reason for doing so. They have to have probable grounds to believe that you might be committing an offence or else they must have witnessed you committing an offence like going through a stop sign or red light or speeding. Although Peter had done none of the above, his erratic driving was enough for them to be suspicious and pull him over.
Peter’s explanation was that he was looking for a particular street in an area that he was unfamiliar with. It was for this reason that he slowed down at every corner while he checked out the signs.
The cop noticed that on Peter’s driver’s license there was a restriction requiring Peter to drive while wearing glasses or contact lenses. Peter’s face clearly had no glasses on it so he inquired as to whether or not Peter was wearing contact lenses. Peter replied that he was not wearing contact lenses nor was he wearing glasses while he was driving, but that he had a very good excuse: his glasses were broken.
In Peter’s mind, since his glasses were broken, he obviously could not wear them while driving and therefore it was impossible for him to comply with the restrictions on his licence. This was also one of the reasons why he was driving so erratically, since he could barely make out the street signs no matter how close he came to the corner.
The police officer gave him a stern lecture along the lines of, “if he could not wear his glasses, than he should not be driving because, according to the licence bureau, he required vision correction in order to drive.” Peter’s excuse that his glasses were broken and that he had to drive in order to get where he was going did not satisfy the police officer who gave him a ticket for driving without wearing his glasses.
This excuse won’t impress a judge either!