Five Traffic Ticket Myths Busted!

February 12, 2010
policeman reaching into car

policeman reaching into car

I've heard (and even told) plenty of "facts" about giving and getting traffic tickets. Like any other legal matters, there are plenty of urban legends surrounding the truth. Here are five you shouldn't believe.

1 - The Radar Gun

This is probably the myth this writer has heard the most when it comes to traffic tickets. I'd bet you've heard it too. It goes something like this: a driver has the right to see the reading (and even calibration documentation) from a police officer's radar equipment. In fact, the one and only time (fingers crossed) that I've been pulled over for speeding, the officer actually offered to show me the calibration data. So, needless to say, I was pretty convinced of the truth behind this one.

Busted! There is no law requiring any law enforcement officer to show a driver the reading on his or her radar gun.


2 - Refusing The Breathalyzer

I'm proud to say I've never had to face a Breathalyzer test, but I've certainly heard plenty of stories of intoxicated individuals refusing to take it. This is a strategy used to avoid a DUI, but it's origins are not based on actual laws.

Busted! Refusing to comply with this test can, and probably will get you in trouble, so it's really not a good move.

2011 Chevrolet Caprice Police Car

2011 Chevrolet Caprice Police Car

3 - The Disappearing (never existing) Points

I'll admit, I had never heard of this one before. Apparently it's generally accepted knowledge that you can fool the system with a series of check writing scams, and prevent an offense from ever showing up on your record. Here is the procedure. Once you've been fined, you mail the court a check for the amount of the fine, plus a few bucks. The court will then mail you back a check for the money you over paid. Supposedly if you never cash that last check, the case will stay open, and you'll never get the points.

Busted! The points are posted to your record immediately, regardless of how you pay your fine.


4 - Interfering With The Radar

Attaching chains to the bottom of your car, or aluminum foil to your hubcaps, or hanging a CD from your rear-view mirror will confuse a cop's radar gun, making it impossible for it to accurately detect your speed. This sounds plausible, in a James Bond sort of way.

Busted! The radar will still work, and if you're speeding, the officer will still know.


5 - Radar Detector

I've seen so many people blow past me on the highway sporting radar detectors suction-cupped to their windshields. I've got to say, I'm surprised to see that people still buy those things.

Busted! They certainly don't make you invincible to radar - especially when you're doing 20 mph over the limit, assuming you'll get away with it.

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