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This Is Why You Should Only Break One Law At A Time

, , , , | Legal | May 10, 2020

I am driving to work one morning and get stuck in traffic near the interstate exit lane. The lady behind me tries to switch lanes but hits my rear bumper. I get out and inspect the damage. There’s enough to justify exchanging insurance information. The lady who hit me gets out.

Lady: “Don’t call the cops!”

Me: “I need a police report for my insurance.”

In retrospect, I smelled alcohol, but the accident plus the rush-hour traffic have me more focused on exchanging information without getting killed than putting two and two together.

Lady: “Don’t call the cops! I’ll pay for the damage!”

Me: “Lady, I don’t know you from Adam. I can’t take your word for it.”

Lady: “I swear on my kid’s lives, I’ll pay for the damage! Please don’t call the cops!”

The police roll up without me having to call them because, you know, it’s rush hour and a huge line of traffic is conspicuous.

Policeman #1: “Please return to your cars.”

I get in my car and watch the following unfold via my rearview mirror: [Policeman #1] talks to [Lady]. He makes a call on his walkie-talkie. Another police car rolls up. So far, I don’t think anything strange is going on. 

Then, an unmarked police car rolls up. Then, a second unmarked car rolls up and a policewoman gets out. All the while, a lot of talking is going on with [Lady]. The policewoman handcuffs [Lady]. [Policeman #1] walks up to my car. After checking my license and registration:

Policeman #1: “You’re good to go. You can pick up the police report tomorrow after 9:00 at the downtown office.”

Me: “Oh, uh… Will that have her insurance information in it?”

Policeman #1: “She doesn’t have insurance.”

Me: “You’re kidding.”

Policeman #1: “No. She doesn’t have insurance. She just got off her shift at [Bar]. She’s driving on an expired license. In her mother’s car. Which has an expired plate and registration. That, plus she’s DUI, means she’s going to jail.”

Me: “So… I guess my insurance will have to cover this one.”

Policeman #1: “Yep.”

I end up going to her court date. I am still mad that someone could be that irresponsible. I am told to meet with the prosecutor and let him know I am there and why. I walk into an eight-by-ten office packed floor to ceiling with paperwork. There are at least four other guys in that office all working furiously.

A very haggard-looking attorney looks up at me and says, with a sigh:

Attorney: “Can I help you?”

I explain why I’m there, and he gets a puzzled look on his face, which I like to interpret as “Huh, an actual concerned citizen,” but could also be “What a dufus; I’m busy.”

Attorney: “You can go. We don’t need your testimony. She’s got some other stuff going on. She’s going to jail for a while.”