Vaper Files Complaint After Traffic Cop Forces Sobriety Test
Just last month, a New York vaper received a traffic citation for using his e-cig while driving. This week, another vaper encountered problems from a traffic cop when he was pulled over for using his e-cigarette. The frustrated vaper said the officer accused him of using illegal drugs and forced him to undergo a sobriety test. The fifty-two year old said he has never used drugs and he was extremely offended by the accusation, spurred solely on the fact that he was vaping. He plans to file a complaint about the encounter. There is no current law that prohibits vaping behind the wheel, but with increasing run-ins like this, vapers worry that using e-cigs while driving could land them in hot water.
Are electronic cigarettes really a target for law enforcement officers or is this just a matter of misinformation? Another e-cig user commented that he had also been pulled over for vaping on two different occasions. He said, “I only take ego-style PVs (personal vaporizers) out with me, so it was pretty painless both times explaining what it was… I don’t get upset about it. The ‘other’ use of vaporizers has become much more common in the last few years, and someone who doesn’t have experience with them would have a hard time telling the devices apart. I may lose 10 minutes out of my day, but the law enforcement officers are just doing their job.”
The ‘other’ use for personal vaporizers refers to up fitting e-cigs as a disguise for illicit drug use. This does happen on occasion and it is really unfortunate because it gives the whole vaping industry a bad reputation. In reality, the vast majority of vapers are simply using e-liquids that contain nicotine and some flavoring.
Considering the increasing frequency of stories like this, it’s a good idea to think ahead if you like to vape while driving. How would you explain your e-cig to a law enforcement officer if you get pulled over for questioning?
First and foremost, remember to be polite. This is a great opportunity to give your local law enforcement officer a crash course in e-cig technology. If you make it a positive encounter, you could save some other vaping drivers from facing hassle in the future. Be completely open with the cops and let them examine your e-cig and offer to show them how it works. It’s always a good idea to keep some kind of information handy in your car to hand out in these situations. You might have received a “membership card” in your starter kit that would work for this. Another alternative is to keep an empty cartridge box or the e-liquid packaging in your car so you can show officers the full list of ingredients.
Finally, remember to drive safely when you are vaping! It will greatly reduce the chances that you will draw attention and you can avoid a confrontation with traffic cops. The good news is that vaping is 10 times safer than smoking behind the wheel. There is no need to use a lighter and no flicking ash that could potentially burn your clothes or your skin. So if you get a nicotine craving in the car, choose an e-cig. Just be prepared to explain yourself if a cop takes notice.
Have you ever been pulled over for vaping?
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