First Time Pulled Over w/CCW
Disclaimer: This is not an action-packed adventure story. This is your run-of-the-mill “I got pulled over today” story. And it’s pretty long. So why am I writing this? Because I enjoy reading about other people’s stories, and I usually learn something from them (what to do, what not to do, motorist’s perspective, LEO’s perspective, etc…). So here’s my story, which by the way is the first time I’ve been pulled over since getting my CCW years ago.
My family and I went out of state for a long weekend to celebrate my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary. We took separate vehicles, since I could only stay for 1 day due to work, and the wife and kids wanted to stay for a few days (it’s only ~250 miles). I left after the anniversary party, which ended pretty late, so I was expecting to be home around 2:00AM. I always drive straight through, no stopping allowed, so I had been driving for a little over 3 hours and I was anxious to get home after a long day. I turned off of I-15 onto Bangerter Highway (for any fellow Utards out there) around 1:30am and was about ½ mile away from any other car.
I went by a couple of Salt Lake County Sheriff cars sitting on the side of the road, looked down at my speedometer, and realized that I was speeding. Sure enough, one of them pulled out behind me. I knew I was going to be pulled over, so I slowed down and moved into the lane furthest on the right. There was a stoplight up ahead, and I turned on my turn-signal to get off of the highway, since cars are going pretty fast on that road. When my signal light turned on, his flashers went on. I turned off of the highway and pulled to a stop. I’ll do my best to duplicate our conversation, with side comments on the reasons I did what I did.
I pull over, roll down my window, turn the stereo off, turn on the interior lights of my car, put both hands on the steering wheel and wait. [I turned on the interior lights because it was dark outside (1:30AM) and I wanted the officer to see what I was doing, or rather what I wasn’t doing. I have LEO friends, and I’ve been told that anything you can do to take the stress level down a notch is a good thing, especially during a traffic stop at night. Yes, I know that the LEO had his spotlights trained on me, but still…]
After a few seconds, the LEO walks up to my window with his flashlight. As he gets closer, he lowers his flashlight, and doesn’t even shine it into my vehicle when he gets to my window, but it is still on at his side.
LEO: Good evening. Do you know why I pulled you over tonight?
ME: Yes, I was speeding.
LEO: Do you know what the speed limit is on this road?
ME: 65MPH? [I knew it was either 65MPH or 60MPH, I thought for sure it was 65MPH. No, I don’t travel on this road very often.]
LEO: It’s actually 60MPH. I clocked you going 73 in a 60MPH zone. I’m going to need to see your license and registration.
ME: I have a question for you. I know that it used to be law to inform an officer if you had a CCW, but since they recently passed that law in Utah that states that anybody can conceal carry in their vehicle, do we still need to inform the LEO’s? [Utah recently passed HB357, which lets any law abiding citizen conceal carry in their vehicle, regardless if they have a CCW or not. Go Utah!]
LEO: Do you have a weapon in the vehicle?
ME: Yes, I have a handgun on my right hip.
LEO: I take it you have a permit then?
ME: I do.
LEO: I was wondering what you were doing with your hands-on-the-steering-wheel thing. It’s not law anymore that you have to inform us, but we prefer it when people do. Especially when you have a permit, because that’s the first thing we see when we pull up your information. And if you don’t tell us up front and we find out that you have a permit, then we start wondering what else you might be hiding from us.
ME: Well I wasn’t sure, so I thought I’d ask. My driver’s license is in my front left front pocket, may I get it? [I still have my hands on the steering wheel.]
I keep my right hand on the steering wheel and grab my wallet from my pocket with my left hand. I then pull out my driver’s license and CCW permit and hand it to him.
ME: My registration and insurance info is in the glove box, may I get it? [If you may be thinking that I’m acting timid or scared, I’m not. I’m actually enjoying this experience, as I’ve gone over this a hundred times in my head because of reading all of the stories on this forum. The LEO knows that I have a handgun on my person, so I’m making sure that he knows what I’m going for before making any sudden movements. Why? Read above, where I say that I’ve been told that anything you can do to take the stress level down a notch is a good thing, especially during a traffic stop at night. It may seem like I’m going a little overboard with this, and maybe I am, but if I can do anything to make dealing with me a little less stressful then I’ll do it. Now, that’s not to say that I will let people walk all over me or my rights, but this night I broke the law by speeding and the officer was doing his job.]
LEO nods in the direction of my glove box and says “yes”.
While I am getting out my stuff, I tell him why I am driving this late at night, where I am coming from, where I am headed, etc… I hand him my stuff and he says he’ll be right back.
I put my hands back on the steering wheel and start getting that queasy feeling, thinking “Crap, I was almost home, now I’m going to get a ticket. I wonder how much $$ it will be. 13MPH over, and I didn’t know what the speed limit was. I’m getting a ticket for sure. etc…”
LEO comes back with my stuff and an extra piece of paper on a clipboard.
LEO: I clocked you doing 73 in a 60MPH zone. I’m giving you a warning tonight. What that means is that it’s recorded in our database, and if you get pulled over again it will show up, and you will get a ticket next time.
ME: I understand officer, thank you very much.
LEO: You have a nice night. Drive slowly.
ME: Will do. Thanks
I made it home (doing the speed limit) and put my warning on the counter to show my wife when she got home.
So my first time being pulled over with a weapon was a positive experience, and I wanted to share it. The LEO was very professional.
Thanks for reading,