Nothing is more annoying than prankster trolls busting people’s balls with lame jokes just to get a little attention. In Vitaly’s defense though, he is the OP (Original Prankster).
Whenever we try and vape in public, sometimes we get a good mix of curious glimpses from folks that have questions as to what we’re doing, and at other times, dumb people gaze their life away just itching to come over and tell us to stop smoking because it’s not allowed.
Not only have a few cities like NYC been on a total rampage trying to ban e-cigs and vaping, but with use of hash oils and weed being used in vaporizers, some cops are just itching to slap you with a ticket or escalate things even if what you are doing is perfectly legal.
Even though most cops are cool, knowing a few simple things in the event you find yourself in a sticky-icky spot will not only will it help you save your hard earned money so you can continue buying more useless crap, but it’ll also put you one step ahead of those boys in blue.
#1 – Know Whatchoo Working With, Willis
If you are going to vape in public, the only real way not getting your chops busted is to know what the laws are where you live.
For example, some states have passed laws outlawing vaping indoors, others while driving, and others you can’t even have a vape within a certain distance from schools – so it’s a good idea to at least be familiar with what the rules are where you live.
While this may seem like common sense, it wasn’t for me the first time I got hassled.
#2 – Prepare to Smooth Operate
If for any reason you’re stopped by police, don’t be a hardo and cop an attitude (pun intended).
You gotta understand that cops deal with a constant parade of assholes all day long, so naturally they’re just expecting to hear the lip.
So what can you do?
Just be cool and respectful.
Even though you may perfectly be within your rights, being argumentative or rude isn’t going to help the police see things from your perspective. It’s only going to cause them to dig their heels in deeper and the last thing you want is court dates when you could be having a good time with your friends instead.
#3 – Pack the Goods
While some cops have a reputation for harassing people who vape, it’s might not be a bad idea to carry something around with you that has the laws for your state.
I know that a lot of different vapes actually come equipped with a corny little “vape card” already in the packaging that explains what it is that you’re doing, but it’s probably better to have something bookmarked in your phone so you can always pull it up.
Usually giving them something they can read and understand can carry more weight than simply your word that you aren’t doing anything wrong.
#4 – Sniff for Clues and Ask for a Warning…Nicely
You’d be surprised how often this works, but the key factor here is sincerity and not coming off as expecting it.
The trick here is to see if you can pick up on any social signals from the officer and try to connect with him/her first before you ask.
- Are they wearing a cool watch that maybe your boyfriend wears?
- Is there some event in town that’s going on that you could maybe ask about?
- Is there ANYTHING around you that you can just comment on?!?
Again, if they smell bullshit, they will call you on it and you’re screwed.
#5 – Don’t Trap Yourself
If the warning thing doesn’t work out for you, don’t slip by confessing anything.
You have to understand that if you do end up seeing a court date, anything the officer can use against will be used without question.
Frank Caliendo’s impersonation of Bush said it best:
Keep those “inside words”…inside.
#6 – Be Funny
Contrary to popular belief, cops are people too, ya know.
And guess what?
People like to laugh.
Whenever you can share a funny moment with anyone, it will always drop their guard and help you connect with them on a “less-professional” and more “personal” level.
I’ve done this tons of times and before I knew it, I was in a full fledged convo.
Here’s a good one to warm up the conversation if you get approached:
Let the good times roll.
#7 – Conveniently Be an “Out-of-Towner”
Two words – plausible deniabilty.
Now obviously this won’t work if your house is a few blocks away, but if you’re visiting some friends even in another city or county within the same state, it’s definitely worth a shot.
Ask what the vaping laws are in the county, and surprisingly, the cop may not even know themselves which will probably lead to a few laughs.
Get a conversation going and talk about what they are “back home” and ask the cop’s opinion on why he/she thinks thinks they’re different everywhere. It also wouldn’t hurt to ask them if there even is a safe place where you can go and enjoy your vape.
The more time you keep them talking, the less time they’ll have to write a ticket.
#8 – Have a Sex Change
I’m gonna go on the record and tell you that wish I had boobs.
Actually if I did, I’d probably never leave the house.
…but I digress.
Now this usually works best if you end up with an officer of the opposite sex, but hey whatever, times are changing.
It’s just a fact that women get out of more tickets than guys, so I don’t wanna hear it.
If you’re a girl and have features (you all do in one way or another), I’m pretty sure you know what to do at this point and you don’t need a guy telling you. 🙂
Do not under any circumstance go on a full fledged flirting-blitzkrieg and make it so over the top obvious that the cop knows what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Make it subtle and just drive us guys crazy…like you normally do.
If you’re a guy, well, there’s only one way to a woman’s heart…and that’s listening instead of “fixing everything”, so just keep your mouth closed and take it like a man.
#9 – Big Brother ‘Em (Last Resort)
This should be your last weapon of choice.
It’s no secret that today’s information moves fast.
Whether you’re driving or on foot, cops can pull up your profile and run it with the quickness.
Before you can say “cheese”, they’ll know who you are, where you live, past run-ins with the law, and will also know if you have any outstanding warrants.
Most squad cars come equipped with built-in video cameras and a lot of cops even wear live microphones as part of their uniform, so if you smart off or act like an ass, everything you say and do could end up being seen or heard by a judge or jury later which means game over.
Keep in mind though that this works both ways.
If you think you’re getting hassled for no reason, you’re within your right to record them as well.
Without being an absolute douchebag to them like lots of those online videos where people are just doing it for views, just calmly take out your celly, state that you’re going to record them and do it.
Then politely ask for their full name and badge number for your record.
This may help in court if you have evidence stacked against you.
PV Pro Final Tips
The best way to get out of a ticket for vaping is to obviously not get caught in the first place (shocker, I know).
Even though vaping is legal in way more jurisdictions than not, there are plenty of law enforcement types that actually don’t know the subtleties of these vaping laws, so there’s still a chance you could find yourself bent over the hood of a squad car if you’re not playing it cool.
If somehow you do end up running into a cop that’s just having a bad day and hands you a ticket for vaping, you shouldn’t freak out because it’s really not a big deal.
Here are 2 parting PV Pro Tips:
- Check to see if the citation is legible. If it isn’t, you may have some extra ammo to use in court.
- Keep postponing your court date. The 6th amendment requires a “Speed and Public Trial”, and in states like California, a speedy trial is defined as 45 days from the time of the original infraction. If you can’t get in within those 45 days, there’s a good chance your case will be dismissed.
At the end of the day, as long as you’re not on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list and haven’t broken any laws (or given the police a hard time), follow these tips and you’ll be all set.
Disclaimer: I’m obviously not an attorney and I am not giving legal advice. There…I said it.