How I Got a Very Legitimate Mulligan

Back in December I was making one of about 9 trips to Grand Junction that I’ve made since October. I was tired, late, and not driving my car. I was driving Seth’s Benz, it goes real fast and I was trying to make up for lost time.

It’s not exaggerating to say that I like to be the fastest person on the road. I am fundamentally opposed to speed limits and I show them the exact minimum amount of regard that I can. In other words, I only obey them if I think I’ll get caught. I’m fine with this because I know my limits and I know how to be safe and aware and defensive.

(Also, the best defense is a good offense, or whatever.)

So I’m driving into Parachute, CO when I pass an officer sitting in the median. It was dark so I couldn’t really see him until he had time to tag me. I don’t think I was going that fast, but I’m sure I was speeding. What I could see, though, was him pulling onto the road behind me.

A lot of thoughts ran through my head, not the least of which was that I was about a mile closer to the next exit than he was and I could absolutely have escaped. At the same time I realized my brights were on so I shut them off, and decided that I’d face this consequence rather than become a fugitive from (in)justice.

After a long catch-up period, he unsurprisingly flashed his lights and I started looking for the next best place to pull over. I was nearing the exit after the one I would have escaped down if that gives you any indication of how much time I had pre-siren.

I pulled down the exit and onto the shoulder, but in the time from when the lights came on to when I found a safe place, the dude in the truck in front of me thought maybe he was the one in trouble so he pulled over too, in front of me.

Not being in my own car I wasn’t really sure were the documents I knew I’d need were so I started looking. Without much to offer him, the officer approached, greeted me, informed me that he pulled me over because I had my brights on and because he “clocked my speed.” Now that’s usually the part where asshole cops ask you if you know how fast you were going and then inform you that they know even if you don’t. He didn’t do that, instead he asked for my docs, I looked again, found them and gave them to him. He went to the truck in front of me and let him off the hook and went back to his car.

When he came back to my window, he let me off the hook too. He said he wasn’t going to cite me, but he was going to educate me about bright headlight laws. After that, he handed me his card and went on his way. He was one of the nicest officers I’ve ever dealt with and the kind that—even if he HAD given me a ticket—earn my respect.

The name on his card: Officer John Mulligan

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