SPRING CLEANING & REVENUE GENERATING
Here we are, its June already and of course raining. This means spring, which is the prelude into a nice warm summer. This also means more people on the roads and on the Michigan waterways. Unfortunately, this also means more police on the roads to write more tickets to generate more revenue for the State. And to express an appropriate emotion in this regard, I’ll borrow a Norwegian phrase and say “Uff Da!”.
But there are some things you can do to help enjoy the summer without the hassles of getting burned by the revenue generators, or worse arrested for living your life the way you see fit by ingesting your meds. First and foremost, when doing your spring cleaning, you should check that all of your vehicle’s lights are working properly. Also, be sure to place that sticker on your license plate and keep your vehicle registration up to date. Remember to use your turn signal when changing lanes, and turning corners.
Next, come to a full stop at the solid white lines at intersections, then pull a little forward to check for traffic. It’s hard, especially if you are in a hurry to enjoy the lake or some other spring/summer activity, but also be mindful of your speed. Remember that when making a left turn onto another street, turn into the lane closest to you. If you have to get to the far lane, wait, turn on your blinker, and then proceed. Failing to do these things are perfectly valid reasons to stop you, according to the laws of the state.
If you are on the water, know the rules of the water, and obey them. Keep your boat and trailer registrations up to date and on your boat. Make sure you have life vests for everyone on board. Keep floatable throw cushions, a fire extinguisher that is fully charged and up to date on board. Next, do not exceed the number of persons for your boat’s capacity. Finally, make sure your lights and horn are in working order.
Next, don’t drink or ingest meds and then drive, whether a boat or a vehicle, it’s just not worth the money it will cost or the conviction for driving drunk. It’s better to spend your time fixing the laws than in a jail cell.
There is more. You also should remember when interacting with revenue generators, that their sole purpose is to get you to give up your rights. That is, they will ask questions to get you to admit that you were speeding. For instance, typically, the first thing they will ask is, “do you know why I pulled you over?” Be mindful, you DO NOT have to admit to anything.
Chances are the revenue generator will not have proof you were speeding, except your admission. The same goes for questions about possessing medical marijuana. You do not have to answer. However, if revenue generators inquire as to that funky smell, then you should offer your L.A.R.A card along with your driver’s license, without further comment. During my 17 plus years working as an attorney, it’s been my experience that the majority of people confess their way into a ticket, or worse, a jail cell, by hoping that if they confess and beg forgiveness, the revenue generators will not write a ticket. That is simply not the case because that is their purpose! And if you think they care at all about your job, your financial situation, family, or your life, you are in la la land.
You do have rights, ASSERT THEM! You have a right to not admit to anything. You have a right to privacy, so if they ask if they can search you or your vehicle, simply say NO! Really, if they had a valid reason to search, they would not be asking for your permission. One favorite trick of the revenue generators is to respond, “what do you have something to hide?” Don’t be so weak of mind that you fall for this one! Asserting your rights has nothing to do with hiding anything. Indeed, once you fail to assert your rights, you have no rights. Tell the officer you have rights and you wish to keep them and assert them, respectfully. Don’t allow them to emotionally bully you into giving up your rights.
Lastly, this article cannot possibly provide you with all of the laws, it’s simply not large enough. However, the driving and boating laws in Michigan are available at the Secretary of State’s offices, and online at the state legislature’s site. Take a trip down there, or look them up online, but get a copy and know these. Take a refresher boating course. Get familiar with the laws so you do not give the revenue generators an opportunity to take your hard earned money from you.
Enjoy your spring and summer, stay strong, stay worthy, proudly assert the rights for which so many have suffered maiming and death. Till next month, keep rolling on.
Disclaimer: This is an informational article only. It is not to provide individual legal advice. If you need legal services, feel free to contact me, or any attorney of your choosing.