Cops and Loud Stereos

I admit it, I am old. I grew up in the 70's. In the days before the big stereos got packed in trunks and had the power to broadcast loud enough for everyone in a professional football stadium to hear. I'm sorry, but I don't get it. I had a real problem with the stereos so loud that the driver couldn't hear anything else. I remember on day I got a call on the radio for a medical emergency. The victim had suffered a heart attack and the closest ambulance was at least 40 minutes away. I hit the lights and siren and headed towards the house. While on the
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way, I caught up to a car that had the stereo blaring so loud that I could hear it over my siren. The driver was bouncing around in the car to the music while I was on his rear end trying to get around him on a stretch of winding roads where the only way safe to pass was to wait until cars moved over. It was a 2 lane road that was heavily traveled and for over eight miles it had very limited visibility when it came to cars coming at you. The speed limit was 45 miles an hour and we were doing barely that. Dispatch called while I was en route to advise the the victim was now unconscious and they wanted to know my estimated time of arrival. I told them that I had a vehicle in front of me that wouldn't move over and didn't see the emergency lights (overhead red and blues as well as wig wags) and they had a stereo so loud that I could hear the bass from inside of my car. All I could do was log the plate and try to get a chance to go around him. I didn't happen until I got a staright shot where cars could see me and move over in the other lane. What should have been a 10 minute drive turned into probably double that. The victim was beyond hope when I arrived and started CPR. After I cleared the call, I
called dispatch and had them run the plate which gave me the owners information. I drove to the residence and the car was there so I knocked on the door and asked who was driving the car. The woman that answered asked why and I told her. She stated that no one was driving the car and it had been in the drive all day, even though the engine was warm. She then slammed the door in my face. I left and mailed a citation for the loud stereo to the residence and charged the owner. In some states the owner can be held responsible for whatever an operator does in his or her car. I just wanted to use it as an avenue to get them to court where they would have to lie under oath, or tell us who was driving. They pled not guilty and got a court date. At court, I testified first and gave the facts of the case, describing the call that I received and then described the whole drive behind the car. I also gave a description of the car as well as the license plate and explained everything from the heart attack victims death to the woman slamming the door in my face. The woman was the owner that I sited and in the time between the incident and the court date I found out that the ladies son drove the car all of the time. He was 16 years old and was not in court. In traffic court, the officer would testify, the accused would question the officer, then the accused could testify and have the officer ask questions. There is no discovery in a summary traffic case where I worked and evidence could be presented at any step of the proceeding. After I testified, the mother asked me questions about my eyesight, depth perception, years of experience and if I ever noted the wrong plate. I answered honestly. She took the stand and stated how she was sitting at home when I knocked on the door and gave her an attitude. She stated that the car hadn't moved all day and again questioned my vision (which is better than 20/20 with my contacts in) and even stated that my eyes didn't look like they had contacts in them. It was so hard to not laugh. My first question to her "would you like to see the video from the dash cam" as I held up a same tape. I have a lot of stories over the years about parents that will out and out lie for their kids. I always told my children that if they ever got into trouble with the law, they were on their own so the were not to use my position to influence any officers decisions. I knew that if you were willing to lie for your kids on the little things, they would probably get to be bigger things and what an injustice that would be to them. As for the lady. She was charged with lying under oath, he son received his ticket for loud stereo and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. I got the satisfaction of doing what I felt was right and winning. I still wonder to this day if the minutes that I could have arrived earlier to the heart attack call, could have saved a 56 year old mans life. Think before you crank that stereo. I could mean a lot more than just a loud stereo ticket, it could mean a life.