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Four Things to Make You Nervous at a Traffic Stop

If you're going to violate the law, be calm about it and maybe you'll get to keep your pot.

The first thing that might make you nervous when a police officer stops your vehicle is that you were driving past the speed limit.

New Canaan police say they stopped a vehicle driven by a 20-year-old man from the Riverside section of Greenwich on April 1 at 4:48 p.m. He was driving on Silvermine Road near Beacon Hill Lane, police said. He was charged with driving at an unreasonable speed, an infraction.

(All information in this article amounts to an accusation by New Canaan police which has not been proven in court. And by the way, we're not naming this driver because the charges don't seem to rise to the level of a public concern. On the other hand, this case is somewhat interesting -- and it's been a slow news week.)

The driver was nervous and somewhat hesitant to answer questions, according to the report. Nervous enough and hesitant enough to raise suspicion in the mind of the officer who stopped him.

The second thing that might make you nervous is if you thought the traffic stop might bring up something more than going faster than 30 mph in a 30 mph zone. Such as driving without a driver's license, which the driver was doing. The driver was charged with operating a motor vehicle without a license, an infraction.

The police officer asked the driver if he had any marijuana in the vehicle, a third thing that might make you nervous if you had some. The driver said he had a grinder for marijuana. It had some marijuana residue on it. He was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, another infraction.

The officer conducted a search, a fourth thing that might make you nervous if the officer found anything illegal to possess. The officer did: In the driver's pocket was a package of rolling papers. In his backpack was a jar containing less than half an ounce of marijuana.

The driver was charged with possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana, his fourth infraction.

The driver was issued a ticket for those four infractions and sent on his way. Perhaps he'll be less nervous next time.

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