Email list
11 Points
11 Points Guide To Hooking Up
11 Most Popular Excuses to Try to Get Out of a Ticket (With Odds of Success)
written by Sam Greenspan

According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics study, when a cop pulls you over, you've got about a 55 percent chance of getting a ticket. (You also have a three percent chance of getting arrested.) That means you've got about a two in five shot of talking -- or, probably, crying and casually flirting -- your way out of the ticket.

Earlier this week, a new nationwide survey came out with the top 11 excuses people use to get out of tickets. Yes, they actually did a top 11 list. It's spreading.

I decided to break down those 11 excuses and give my thoughts on their rough odds of success. Here are the 11 most popular excuses we use to try to get out of tickets, ranked from least to most popular. Caveat emptor, of course -- but with a 42 percent shot of getting away with just a warning, you might as well try something.

  1. Stock photos are really something.
    "I'm not even supposed to be driving, my friend is [drunk, tired, etc.]." This is the least popular excuse, but not a horrible one. You immediately position yourself as an unlikely hero on a quest. If you sprinkle in words and phrases like "I stepped up," "martyr," "lifesaver," and "the hero's journey isn't always a happy one" -- and if the cop happened to watch one of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Labyrinth or Jumanji recently -- the self-proclaimed hero route might actually work. Odds of success: 9-1

  2. "My GPS told me to do it." This excuse must be getting more and more common. I almost had to use this one a few weeks ago. I really like Waze (if you don't know it, it's a GPS app that guides you around traffic). But, when I was lost in downtown Los Angeles (as I always am when I drive in downtown L.A.), it guided me onto a FastPass-only toll road with no way off. I was already rehearsing the speech to the cop in my head. I was going to throw Waze under the bus, hard. If necessary, I was literally going to throw my phone underneath a bus for emphasis. But I didn't get pulled over. I *did* get a ticket in the mail about a week later for... $1.35. That's a victory. Odds of success: 6-1

  3. "I was rushing to an emergency." The viability here is totally contingent on the emergency. Pregnant wife in the car? Odds of success are about 11-10, with the outlier cop winding up in getting raked through the coals via Temporary Internet Outrage when your wife pops the kids out in the car. Rushing because if you're late to work you'll get fired? Decent shot. Have to get home because you forgot to record Law & Order: SVU and if you miss the crime in the first few minutes the show will be ruined? Not so good. Odds of success: 7-1

  4. "I didn't do anything dangerous." Yeah, this isn't going to work. It doesn't give the cop anything to think about. His knee jerk reaction can just be "It doesn't matter, the law is the law." That's straight out of the manual, I assume from hearing the legend of "the manual" on various TV shows. (See, *I* never forget to record SVU.) Odds of success: 19-1


  5. This comes up in an image search for toilet and car.
    "I had to go to the bathroom." AKA the Code Brown. You know, there IS one thing you can do to really sell this bit. It's not great for the upholstery or dignity, and forever gives you a definitive answer to the question, "Would you soil yourself for a few hundred dollars?" -- but on the other hand, tickets cost more than pants. Odds of success: 6-1

  6. "I missed my turn/exit." I'm surprised this finished so high since it feels more like the preamble to a real excuse than an excuse itself. You can do better. Odds of success: 14-1

  7. "I had an emergency in the car, I [spilled a hot drink on my lap, etc.]." The power of this excuse fades as distracted driving gets a worse and worse rap. Studies keep coming out that show texting and driving isn't just dangerous, so is talking on a hands-free and driving, eating and driving, yelling at your kids and driving, daydreaming and driving, or thinking about preachy studies on distracted driving and driving. Odds of success: 9-1, highly dependent on the emergency

  8. "Everyone else was doing it." Just because a traffic violation is popular doesn't make it legal, unfortunately, so I'm thinking this one flops. Your best bet is that you actually were telling the truth, everyone keeps doing it, and some guy speeds by doing 120. That's way more lucrative.Odds of success: 24-1


  9. I was mostly just describing a scene from Porky's.
    "I didn't know my [taillight, etc.] was even broken." Here you're basically just arguing out of a fix-it ticket, which is more annoying than expensive -- so it's not worth breaking out your "A" material. Unless you're in the deep South and a fat, corrupt Southern sheriff breaks your light with his nightstick. In which case this excuse will only guarantee that he smashes *another* one of your lights. Then he and his redneck buddies laugh at you and warn you never to cross the county line again. This excuse won't work there.Odds of success: 49-1

  10. "I'm lost and don't know the roads." I feel like this would be the excuse I'd be most likely to pull out. It also has a built-in response to the follow-up question of "Why didn't you look it up on your phone?" "I don't want to break the law and look at my phone when I drive." That's airtight debate club gambit stuff right there. Odds of success: 3-2, putting it right in the standard ticket avoidance range

  11. "I couldn't see the sign telling me not to [speed, U-turn, etc.]." Ignorantia juris non excusat. Two Latin catchphrases in one list! The same list where I made a rare poop joke. Am I pretentious or not? I don't know. I'm like AMC, showing Mad Men and Breaking Bad alongside Small Town Security and reruns of CSI: Miami.

    Anyway, this is the most popular excuse and probably a decent one if you can either (1) eloquently state your case or (2) hint that you're litigious enough to argue the sign was obscured and force the cop to appear in court. I learned that second angle from an episode of Full House where Danny Tanner argued that a speed limit sign was behind a tree.

    Verdict: Nope, I'm not pretentious. Odds of success: 2-1

This list was originally published on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 09:00:00 AM under the category Travel.
It currently has View Comments.

Facebookery?
11 Most Stolen Road Signs In the U.S.

11 Public Bathroom Options, Ranked From Least To Most Rank

11 Things That Will Kill Your Road Trip

11 Amazing Bits of Trivia on America's Roads to Briefly Wow Your Friends

11 U.S. Cities Most Guilty of the Seven Deadly Sins

Archive of all Travel lists

Most Popular Guilty Pleasure Songs
11 Most Popular Guilty Pleasure Songs
Published Tuesday, September 30, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Music
Great Moments in Stupid Product Packaging
11 Great Moments in Stupid Product Packaging
Published Friday, September 26, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Web & Tech
Famous People With Stage Names That Have Other Famous People's Real Names
11 Famous People With Stage Names That Have Other Famous People's Real Names
Published Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Misc
License Plates With Tremendous Puns
11 License Plates With Tremendous Puns
Published Friday, September 19, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Travel
More Seemingly Generic Terms That are Actually Brand Names
11 More Seemingly Generic Terms That are Actually Brand Names
Published Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Misc
Least Tortured Sports Cities in America
11 Least Tortured Sports Cities in America
Published Friday, September 12, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM under the category Sports
Full Archive



Follow
Mailing list
Twitter
Facebook
YouTube
Pinterest
Instagram
RSS

Categories
Music lists
Web & Tech lists
Misc lists
Travel lists
Sports lists
TV lists
Personal lists
Dating & Sex lists
Books lists
Countdown lists
Games lists
Food & Drink lists
News & Politics lists
Movies lists
Interviews lists
Full archive

Follow
11 Points

Mailing list


Twitter


Facebook


YouTube


Pinterest


RSS