LETTER: What’s the basis for being pulled over

Lights and siren let us know we are being pulled over. What did we do?

Let’s be clear from the beginning I do not drink and drive. Neither does my wife. It is simply too dangerous to public safety and fraught with penalties for doing so. Common sense say’s leave the alcohol at home.

On my way home from our usual Sunday afternoon drive in the country I decided to stop at one of our city’s many liquor stores open on Sunday to make a purchase. To the observing APD officer a pair of old white haired pensioners come out of the liquor store with their purchase for home.The husband puts their liquor purchase in the trunk of their car and proceeds to open the passenger door for his wife to get in.

I wasn’t ten feet out of the parking lot and I had picked a motorcycle officer tailing me. It was a very casual sort of pursuit – up a hill, through two intersections, two stop signs, two turns, right and left – and still the game of pursuit tag goes on. And nothing done wrong.

Lights and siren let us know we are being pulled over. What did we do?

Does a police office ever consider how terrifying it is to have an armed individual – even if it is a police officer – thinking you are doing something wrong and following you? For this old couple it was an unnerving stress test.

I am asked a variety of questions seemingly as a part of the APD’s community relations program that ran like this: Do you have any open liquor in the car? No! Have you been drinking today? No! If I administer a road side breathalyzer will you pass? Yes! Will you test zero? Yes! May I see you driver’s license? I see it expires in July. Thank-you for your cooperation.

It turns out we hadn’t done anything wrong but had still aroused a police officer’s suspicion. Or was it just random selection?

I had a rattled drive the rest of the way home wondering what we had done to receive such special attention from our local police department. My wife felt it was distasteful and unwarranted. I felt I was targeted.

Was it my sun glasses? My clothing? Was I too happy? What made me different from all the other patrons coming and going?  Was it just a case of wrong time, wrong place?

Worse, I’m now worried about what data base I’m in now for being pulled over? It does make you wonder.

And what was the lesson in all of this? So much for public relations!


Myron Neville


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