On our way back from Kenyon, fellow Thrill writers Sarah Morgan Cohen-Smith ’14 and Mary Alice Jackson ’15, as well as Sarah Frantz ’15, got pulled over. For me, this was the first time this had ever happened, so I cowered in the corner of the back seat and provided absolutely no help. As everything was going down, it occurred to me that if this had ever happened while I was driving alone, I wouldn’t have a clue where to start. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts, based on our experience.
DO: Pull over to the right slowly and carefully.
DO NOT: Shout “FUCK” at the top of your lungs so that the police officer might hear.
DO: Wait for the officer to approach and give your license and registration when asked.
DO NOT: Frantically contemplate how to best get out of the situation: “Should we cry? Should we get naked? Should we all get naked and cry????”
DO: Answer all the questions calmly and truthfully, especially if you know you’re in the wrong (we’re just trying not to get arrested here, not to get out of a ticket. We’ll save that for another post).
DO: Leave first. When everything is over and you’ve reaction to the initial shock of a $140 ticket, pull yourself together and leave. Make sure you do this slowly and responsibly because you’re not exactly going to get the benefit of the doubt if you screw this part up.
DO NOT: Sit in the car for five more minutes playing the drive-away version of “no you hang up first.” Just leave. You still have four more hours to drive.