I stopped this one driver for going 56 mph in a posted 40. Its a pretty busy roadway with lots of entrances and exits to roadside businesses.
After the usual greeting with him giving me his driver license and such, he tells me that he's on his way to the local hospital to pick up his wife and new born son. He even showed me the wrist band allowing him into the nursery to see his pride and joy.
Being a typical motor cop I write him a speeding ticket and give him a break on not having proof of insurance.
While I explained the ticket to him, he was obviously pissed off and thought that its okay and justified to drive 16 mph over the posted speed limit because he was a new father.
I politely explained to him that he surely reduces his chances of enjoying the truly best job in the world and that is being a father, dad, fahja, papa-san or what ever you wanna call it.
He doesn't buy into it and angrily tells me "I'll see you in court! You obviously don't have children yourself."
So this last week there we were, seated in the courtroom waiting for the traffic trials to begin. I see my defendant, new daddy sitting in the last row on the opposite side of the courtroom. He steps outside where I see him talking to another gentleman wearing a suit.
The suited gent walks up to me and asks me if I'm Officer 2 Wheel Terror. I answer that I am, as he tells me he is representing his client who was my client on that day he chose to speed.
We step out of the courtroom into the lobby where his client walks up. The attorney tells me that his client who happened to be his friend was willing to plea to "no contest" which means that he wasn't saying that he was guilty nor was he innocent. The no contest plea would be to a lesser charge, still causing him to pay a fine but it wouldn't add a point to his driving record which in turn keeps the car insurance from going up.
I have no problem with that. I don't take any drivers actions or reactions personally (usually). So he pled "no contest" to a lesser violation. He was happy, his attorney (who turned out to be his friend's son's god father) was happy.
Me I didn't care. I show up because the driver chose to exercise his constitutional right and I respect that. Of course it doesn't hurt that I get paid 5 hours minimum of overtime.....
I saw him out in the lobby where I shook his hand and asked him how his wife and son were doing. We chatted for a few minutes about children, fatherhood, but avoided the topic of teenagers...... I think he'll be in for a surprise.