15 votes

Was pulled over tonight and what the Sheriff said just rubbed me wrong.

Vacationing with my family at the Walt Disney World Resort and was pulled over by a County Sheriff while driving our rental from Magic Kingdom to our hotel. My wife was driving, which is a good thing as I probably would have been spouting off so much that I would have gotten myself arrested for something. I was in the backseat with my youngest daughter, my wife was driving, and my older daughter was in the front passenger seat. It was a short interaction of which I remember exactly word for word and it just rubbed me the wrong way.

County Sheriff approaches window:

Sheriff: Are you folks on Vacation?

My Wife: What Exactly am I being stopped for?

Sheriff: Your license plate light is out.

My wife: So its not a safety issue like a brake light or tail light? Its the license plate light which serves no purpose except allowing others to read the plate number? I can actually be stopped for that?

Sheriff: Yes mamm. All lights must be functional and working. Do you have your license, registration, and proof of ins.?

My wife: Of course. (She hands it over along with rental agreement for car. Sheriff takes documents)

Sheriff: Okay good. Sit tight while I check this out. I need everyone to stay in the vehicle until I get back, but if you want to get out Mamm to check and see that the light is actually not working you can go ahead and do that now.

My wife: That's okay. I'll take your word for it until I am not on the side of the road.

Sheriff: Very good. Sit tight it should only take a few minutes to get you on your way.

About 8 minutes pass. Sheriff comes back to window.

Sheriff: Well you are not wanted (Sheriff laughs) and everything checked out.

My wife: So I am going to get stopped everytime an officer is behind me until its fixed?

Sheriff: Not in this county Mamm. Everyone knows whats going on, but if you have a problem tell them you spoke to me.(Officer gives card displaying his name) Nobody is going to give you a ticket for that kind of light anyway its just a reason to stop you, check you out, and see if you are a bad guy. We are looking for bad guys tonight.

My wife: Well I am glad you don't consider me a bad guy.

Sheriff: Not at all mamm. Just gives us a reason to stop you and see if you are a bad guy. Have a good vacation and be careful when you reenter traffic.


I was sitting in the back. The sheriff did not address or acknowledge me in any way. Had I been driving...lol Well its a good thing I wasn't. I can be a smartass. But It just rubs me the wrong way that any law enforcement would stop a car for something that as the sheriff said "nobody is going to give you a ticket for..." He did not even tell her to get it fixed. He basically told her not to worry about it. So why stop the car in the first place? I guess its like he said. They just want any ol' reason, but there were people driving like idiots and speeding all right in front of him at the same time. I just think its odd they stop a car for an offense (if you can even call it that) that they have no intention of giving a ticket for and basically tell you not to worry about fixing it while on vacation. I dunno. Maybe its no big deal, it just seems very strange to me.

End of Rant! :)

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I got pulled over for crossing the center line

Only problem is I did not cross the center line. Then the cop proceeded to park so everyone passing us during the stop had to drive completely into the other lane for the entire time. Then he gave me a warning. I don't like police. They are a threat not a help.

I once got pulled over for 'following too close'

There was no car anywhere around me, but by telling me that the cop basically put me on notice to not give him any trouble or there'd be a ticket for a bogus charge that I couldn't fight.

He proceeded to ask me a bunch of personal questions aimed at determining if I was legit or if I could possibly be a drug runner. So the traffic stop was just an excuse to look for some crime he could charge me with.

He didn't even bother telling me to be more careful.

Sounds like a pretty easy stop to me.

We just got back from Indian Rocks Beach near Clearwater Florida, and I have to say I quite enjoyed what police interaction we had while there. I asked one cop about the closest place to find a good steak marinade, and he got me to a great spot and was very friendly. The other times we spoke with cops was while eating banana splits at the Kooky Coconut on two different occasions. Both times there were 4 coming in to eat lunch and they were really nice to us and the kids. In face we got to talking about off roading and our trail rigs at one point while I was having one of the big "oil can" Fosters Lagers. These guys actually seemed to be the kind of cops that we had around Oklahoma at one point and time. Of course we all know the system is what is screwed up, and a few bad cops definitely ruin the reputation of most cops.

BTW..My Grandad, Dad, and Uncles always gave me this piece of advice while driving. "If you are doing or carrying something illegal, don't break even the smallest of laws or you are screwed." That includes tag lights. It's really hard for me to believe that neither of you knew that a tag light being out would get you pulled over. Either way, I hope you enjoyed your trip.

If you think that is bad wait

If you think that is bad wait until you rent a car that the rental car company has reported stolen and the police have you exit the car a gun point! It happens more often than you think. On the ground knee in back handcuffs... Then the sorting starts.

There are thousands of rental cars reported stolen as I type. What a vacation story you will have :)

ps... generally no charge for the rental car and a free one for the next vacation to make up and a rental car employee is fired for the paper work fumble.

In Florida

I once got pulled over for having the word "Florida" on my plate slightly covered. The frame had an american eagle which covered part of the plate! Considered myself lucky because I was driving too fast and the cop gave me the lesser ticket. Apparently, as you get closer to the capital, they become more authoritarian.

Label Jars, Not People!

if all your lights were

if all your lights were working they would say your tire went over the white line. it didn't, of course, but they'll say it did.

We all need to run for Sheriff,


as well because its a rental.

Shouldn't he have just looked at the rental agreement and realized that it was the rental car company's responsibility to fix the light and let you go?

No need at all to run your info through the spy system.

"Once you become knowledgeable, you have an obligation to do something about it."- Ron Paul

Doesn't work that way. The

Doesn't work that way. The driver is responsible for the vehicle they choose to drive. Like a truck driver you are to make sure you have lights, tire tread, ect... before you operate the vehicle.

Exactly. The Rental company is supposed to do a walk-through

with you and show you that everything is in working order. You are also supposed to be able to request a different vehicle if you find something not right.

Once you drive off - it's YOUR responsibility.

Most laws of this sort impose obligations and liability on "operators" or "drivers" and rarely upon "owners."

Just for the record...

What was the make and model of the vehicle?

This is exactly what's wrong

This is exactly what's wrong with having laws on the books that generally aren't enforced. It gives the police way too much power.

So for all the people

who say "If you have nothing to hide who cares of they spy on you" - here's an example. It just doesn't feel right, huh?

It's called conditioning.

Glad your wife kept cool - bored people looking for trouble can be dangerous.

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

The goal is the ability to

The goal is the ability to stop anyone they want, the excuse (light bulb)is to avoid the situation of MAJOR opposition if they dont lie about it

at this point, i dont care about the "criminals", because we are being run by them, and most of their "employees" dont even know it

And the most IM asking, is the AKNOLEDGEMENT of that possibility, because if there is not, then there will be NO accountability made to counter it, effectively putting down manure in a garden full of weeds

No accountability means a perfect home for a corrupted weed to flourish, should one find its way to that garden, its the weeds choice if it wants to or not, because there is no "acountability" stopping him if it does

This was my experience for the same thing in NH

This guy turned out to be cool. I had a second meeting with this guy a couple months ago ... He is indeed way cool. Turn on those video's when you get popped.


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Stand up For your Civil Rights

3 yrs hindsight

so....it's been almost 3 yrs since OP wrote this.

what happened when you returned the car rental?

what was the point? (from cop's view?)


sounded like they were well wired-in 3 yrs ago...

"Not in this county Mamm. Everyone knows whats going on,"

which is hard for me to believe having been there many times


so...can we extrapolate retroactively what was going on back then knowing what we know now?

Thoughts, thoughts, thoughts?!

It's always a crap shoot

When you get pulled over the experience can range from feeling insulted and abused, to being appreciative (admittedly rare) that police really are out to serve and protect.

I once had an experience on the I-695 Beltway around Baltimore.

A cop who was standing in the right, breakdown lane, flagged me to pull over.
He comes to the window and asks me if I know why he told me to pull over. I said I did not.
He then tells me I was driving in the breakdown lane, and accused me of trying to go around traffic to get off the exit ramp.

Pissed me right off.

I told him I was not headed for that exit. I told him where I was headed.

He goes to check my license, comes back and while he couldn't find any record, he says, "That name sounds familiar." I asked if he knew people from my church. He said he didn't and acted like he was implying that I was someone 'notorious'!

I wanted to run his a-s-s over.

I got a $150 ticket and was told by the judge that if I wanted to contest it, the ticket could end up costing me more.

So I paid the ticket at the cashier window and moved on with my life.

This is a clear-cut case of an officer earning his $8 per hour..

Do nothing and get paid for it.

Nothing wrong with that.

I dealt with this same scenario recently, where a cop was clearly confused as to what he was even doing there in the first place:


Defeat the panda-industrial complex

I am dusk icon. anagram me.

You think they make $8/hour?

You think they make $8/hour? lol

I think you are being overly sensitive.

There is a very good reason "all lights have to be functional and working". Do you understand the term "getaway car"? If you or your family are victims of a drive-by shooting at night, don't you want to be able to write down the license number of the getaway car?

You are an idiot, Bob. Chris Cudnoski speaking here.

No getaway car in the history of bank robberies has ever left the shop with a malfunctioning light.

Defeat the panda-industrial complex

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Down-voted you....

...for calling a fellow DPer an 'idiot'. :(

That was very harsh, upsetting, and uncalled for, imo.


As for the rest of what you wrote....I don't get it.

Serious/sincere? 'Funning', sarcasm?

1. how would u know?
2. because the plate was missing, or stolen, anyway... so lit up meant nothing?
3. so they could see where they were going? or so they wouldn't get stopped for a ticket?


You have good humor! I just don't always get it.
So, don't even know if you're joking about something here?

(I like it better when you post as Chris. Keep forgetting you're PP.) lol ;)

OK - Chris is back...

I don't know if I was being facetious or maybe I was an angry drunk last night. Either way I get to log on and do damage control every following afternoon. But I think my point was that getaway cars are usually non-descript with functioning lights all around. At least in the movies they are.

I apologize.

Defeat the panda-industrial complex

I am dusk icon. anagram me.

Lighten up

It's a joke. The suggestion that drive by shooters would take the time to have fully functioning vehicle lights is humorous. I have a feeling that was the joke in the first place. Mr.45 made a joke, then Mr. Pot made a joke. Ha ha.

I'd rather have a bottle in front o' me than a frontal lobotomy

The sheer number of laws they

The sheer number of laws they manufactured to fine us for and throw us in jail for is immense. Why we continue to pay taxes for police and pass these laws for our own prosecution is mind boggling.

After reading the comments..

The scariest trend I see is nobody is playing by the rules. Nobody. It is corrupt at every level.

America has lost herself. I pray Ron runs and they dont clamp down on the internet before 2012. Our message is the winning message. Ron Paul can unite America better than anyone else. As President he would actually get things done in a bi-partisan manner.

The internet is going to be vital to our success. People are so much more connected to the net than just 3 years ago. Radio had HG Wells. The television had Kennedy, Vietnam and 9/11. What is going to be the internet moment? Ron Paul?

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

Recent Sign I Saw On Home Window

"We Don't Call 911 Here"

Possibly he had a specific reason.

There might have been a crime, a kidnapping, bank robbery, check kiting, who knows? The dept. might have been asked by the FBI or others to keep an eye out for X, who was suspected of having come to the area. IOW it may not have been a blind fishing expedition.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

His reason was the license plate light was out

The cop made it clear he used the license plate light as an excuse to go fishing for something else. There was no reasonable basis for believing the license plate light indicated any connection with any other crime.

Too many cops with too much time on their hands.

Sheriffs + Oathkeepers = Protection of Freedom

As the highest elected law enforcement official in the States, Sheriffs hold an incredible amount of constitutional power in the battle against federalized tyranny and serfdom.

There are some excellent Sheriffs, who fully understand what individual liberty is about in America, and they have "gone to bat" against encroaching fascism. Not all of them know it, however.

So next time you "bump into" your local Sheriff, remind him that he is one of the final guardians of State sovereignty and individual freedom in America.

Be gracious - Then hand him a flyer from Oathkeepers. Tell him to read it for the sake of his children and his grandchildren.

Maybe he'll join the side of light (rather than darkness).