Press "Enter" to skip to content

Still Running from the Law

From this week's Off the Record...


A READER WRITES: It's about 11 pm, and I'm driving home after a show at the Caspar Inn. As I pass Safeway on Highway 1, the CHP cop who's been trailing me since I literally left my parking space in Caspar decides it's time: He cranks on the light, I curse the steering wheel and we caravan onto a side street.

The cop, who's young and excitable, a Bob's Big Boy-looking guy, trots up to the car. “Sir, were you aware that you were swerving back there?” he asks. I wasn't swerving, of course, but that's neither here nor there. “No, sir,” I reply. “I had no idea.” He asks me how I've spent my evening and if I've been drinking; I reply that yes, over a period of a few hours I had a beer-and-a-half. At which point he asks me to step out of the car. I do the perp walk over to his SUV and begin the routine: I tilt my neck back, look at the stars and count to 30 out loud. Next, I stand on one foot while pointing the other foot out. Again, I count to 30.

Now, to your logical, thinking authority figure, a word problem might come next: If someone, say, like myself—a six-foot-tall, average-build male—said he had 1.5 beers over two to three hours, and did the how-smashed-is-he exam without making a single joke about the Caspar Inn-as-probable cause routine, without so much as teetering from the spins while staring at the stars, without having to even put a second foot on the ground while doing late-night yoga on the side of the road, if I was that cop, I might call it a night. But hey, what's shootin' fish in a barrel without the $8,000 gee-whiz gadget?

So he gives me a breathalyzer. After a couple of minutes, my sobriety registers in a way that logic just never did: 017. Officer Friendly thanks me for my cooperation, gets back in his SUV and slams on the gas.


For more tales of Mendo Coast CHP, click here.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *