Friday, June 26, 2009

Law Issues

As some of you know I have been having issues with the police and getting my car registered.  The issue was that I had a shot exhaust sensor and therefore I had a check engine light that would come on from time to time.  This didn't cause any problems with how the car runs, however due to safety regulations it wouldn't pass the state safety test.  During the time between when my previous registration expired and when I could finally get it to pass I racked up some traffic tickets.  One was on Valentines day when I was driving to the store to buy some flowers for my GF.  Although irritating for me, I can understand where he was coming from.  As a fat, balding, police officer with a mustache, I am sure he has spent many single awareness days at home with a bottle of scotch.  Maybe putting soap in people's coffee.  Anyways I told you that story to lead you into this one:
Back in early April I was dropping Sayoko off at her dorm after our date at 11:30ish on a Tuesday night.  On my drive home I came to an intersection that had a no left turn sign.  I needed to turn left so I turned right drove up the road a little ways and made a U turn.  I drove on until I saw some flashing lights in my mirror.  I pulled over confused as to what I did wrong.  After having the spot light from the police cruiser shined on me for a good 5 min I was wondering if there had been a silver audi involved in a drug deal or gang shooting.  I have no idea what she was doing.  Finally the cop waddled out of her (Female cop, yeah I was screwed) car over to my window and proceeded to shine her flashlight directly into my eyes before asking, "Do you know why I pulled you over?"  I answered, "No, I really don't know what I did wrong."  She responded, "That sign back there said no l
eft turn."  I said, "I know.  That is why I didn't turn left."  Cop, "Well by turning right and then making a U turn you effectively made a left turn.  Therefore I am giving you a ticket for turning left because that is what you ended up doing."  MTP, "Well then if you can't head west on this road, how am I supposed to get out of here?" Cop, "What you need to do is turn left into the hospital and use their circle thing (I believe she meant round-about) then turn right."  MTP, "Isn't that still an effective left turn?"  Cop "No.  By doing what you did you block the road so that other cars can't pass."  Now, by this time we had been sitting there for about 15 min and not one car other than ours could be seen.  Furthermore, she had pulled me over on a road with no shoulder so we were stopped in the middle of the road.  I didn't push this issue and realized that, like any cop, logic and reason far exceeded her 
mental ability so it wasn't worth trying to persuade her.
The next day I went in and pled not guilty to the offense because I didn't turn left.  They set up a pre trial date for me, however they didn't tell me that it was a pre trial.  That date happened to be yesterday.  I prepared my case and went in with the hopes of being able to show the judge why this was ridiculous.  Turns out that all that happened was the DA offered people a deal and then they either took it or didn't.  The DA never even told me what my deal was because she couldn't understand what it was that I did wrong.  Therefore I pled not guilty for a second time and set up an actual court date for the middle of August.  Now you would think that this process wouldn't take very long seeing as all I needed to do was say two words and get a court date set up.  Unfortunately I was dealing with people paid per hour not per case and it took over 3.5 hours.  Not only did this waste ~3:15 of my day, but the parking meters outside have a 2 hour limit, so I got another ticket.  This pretty much su
ms up my experience with Utah traffic enforcement.  Once they have you, there is no escape.  I drove for 6 years without ever getting a ticket.  Since February I have probably had 10.  I'll let you know how the trial goes.