Nov 25, 2013, 06:00AM

I Could Take You to Jail, Ma'am

But I need to get home for the bus, officer.

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So I’m driving home from Baltimore, after visiting the Splice Today offices, and on my way back to the Eastern Shore, I notice in my rear view mirror that a state trooper has lit me up like the LED 4th of July. I pulled over to the side of the road, terrified.

I’ve talked my way out of probably 10-15 speeding tickets in the nearly 30 years I’ve been driving, and paid a handful of them. Been to court twice to talk my way out of the tickets in front of the judge. So, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, I don’t have any points on my license. As I pulled over (after—oops, hastily putting my seatbelt on, and hanging up the phone), I collected the usual license-and-registration and took deep breaths to try to chill out. Apparently multiple speeding violations don’t ever give you confidence.

State Trooper: “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

Me: (thinks: because I’m a dipshit who was speeding in the left lane while not wearing a seatbelt and talking on the phone?) “No, sir.”

State Trooper: “Are you aware you were speeding?”

Me: “No, sir, I thought I was just going with the flow of traffic.”

State Trooper: “Ma’am, you were doing 70 in a 55.”

Me: (thinks: is that even speeding?) “I didn’t know. I’m sorry, sir.”

It is odd that I am calling this guy sir, because he looks like one of my children.  He goes back to his car, spends what I know is an extended period of time trooper-Googling me, or whatever they call it, and returns to the car.

State Trooper: “Ma’am, are you aware you are driving on a suspended license? This is an arrestable offense.”

Me: (completely loses shit) “What? No, I’m not aware. I’ve never had my license suspended. Why did Maryland suspend it? And not even tell me? I can’t go to jail, I have to get home for the school bus.”

And then I started crying a little bit. Not even fake crying, like the trembly-lip you do to get out of a ticket. I am talking real tears. And I look at him, and he looks like he just made his mom cry because I am probably around his mom’s age and he just graduated from the police academy like 15 minutes ago and he is not ready to deal with crying mom-types.

State Trooper: “Ma’am, apparently you got a ticket in Delaware last August and they didn’t report it paid so Maryland suspended your license.”

Me: “DELAWARRRRRRRE! I totally PAID THAT speeding ticket LAST SUMMER! They cashed my check!”

State Trooper: “I can choose not to arrest you, but I can’t let you drive the car. Do you have a friend or someone you work with who can pick you up?”

Me: (additional real tears because now he’s pointing out what a loser I am) “No, I don’t have any friends and I work on the Internet.”

State Trooper: “Do you have relatives or neighbors?”

Me: “I am from Philly and don’t have family here but my neighbor Terri would probably get me because even though it’s bus time for her too, she knows how much of a dumbass I am and she will feel bad for me.”

State Trooper: “Okay, let’s call her.”

Like we’re going to do it together, and it will be fun, and then we’ll just all go out and get root beer floats together after this.

I call. She says she’ll come, and she manages not to use the word “dumbass” in the conversation. Then when he leaves and Terri is there I illegally drive my car home on back country roads obsessing over the speed limit because what the fuck, I can’t leave my car on Route 50 and my husband is in Indiana.

And now I have to get a lawyer and go to court after obtaining proof from my bank AND THE LAMEASS STATE OF DELAWARE and dealing with the MVA and paying court costs and all of it is because who is dumb enough to drive over 60 in the left lane on Kent Island?


  • I can't believe he left your car there. Wasn't he supposed to impound it? Could you be guilty of theft of your own car or is the cop who left it behind shitting a brick because it never made it to impound? Either way, total nightmare!

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  • Geez getting arrested for stealing my own car definitely would've sucked. I talked to Delaware today and they said I paid the ticket on time, so Maryland had no reason to suspend my license. They're sending paperwork I can bring to the MVA to un-suspend license but I still have to go to court. Yes, total nightmare!

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  • I hope, but doubt, you will be awarded compensation for the damage to compensation, health, pain/suffering etc. for Md. falsely labeling you a scofflaw. Please keep us updated. If you need any help with damages e.g. " I was unable to pick up my son's choc. covered cherries since I had a suspended license and he has since lost all interest in tradition" $100 K; just ask. Maybe it could be the topic of the next Splice writing contest.

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  • Absolutely true that things which do not kill me are things about which I can write. ;) (and fortunately I can walk to the pharmacy where the chocolate covered cherries are so I don't have to drive around with my unfairly suspended license, if i ran out of chocolate it would all go to shit.)

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  • I know the shame! I failed to pay for a ticket in Rehoboth for turning left (behind several others who did not get tickets). The ticket was lost in the car after that trip and Delaware has zero online information and their less than stellar employees told me to send a money order. To top it all off after the police fiasco, I was "offered" to attend a one day "tough love class" (read as kidnapped in small group sharing hell) in lieu of points and fines, with a classroom of other traffic "criminals" who were in similar situations (read as moms who are disorganized and lost the ticket/moved/never got a suspension notice) and got pulled over. I could rant for hours. PS. I'm current on all my offenses now and forever more. I had to pledge that before they let me out of class.

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  • Joan, I kind of wish I could've gone to that class with you because writing about it would be really fun and then we could go to Thrashers for fries and Grotto Pizza, which has wine. ;)

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  • Wine did you say cripes.

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