As electronic cigarettes become more popular, there are increasing stories about people that get pulled over for vaping while driving. In March, a New York man got a traffic citation for using his e-cig behind the wheel. That story has developed into a tangled legal battle after the judge ordered the man to pay the ticket despite no law that prohibits use of e-cigarettes while driving. The case will likely move to an appeals court in the near future. Another incident happened this week and it made the traffic citation look mild. According to one frustrated vaper, law enforcement officers pulled him over for using an e-cig and raised accusations of illicit drug activity. They forced the vaper to take a sobriety test simply because he was using an e-cigarette. The frustrated vaper said he plans to file a complaint about the incident.
Other ecig users sympathized with his situation by leaving comments and some also offered their own stories of behind pulled over for vaping. One man even said he had been pulled over for using his e-cig twice. Fortunately, he never faced a sobriety test and was instantly dismissed on both occasions after explaining his ecig to the police. “I may lose 10 minutes out of my day, but the law enforcement officers are just doing their job,” he said.
If you ever face a confrontation with law enforcement officers over your e-cigarette, there are a couple of steps you can take to insure a positive outcome. First, make sure you are courteous and respectful. If you get angry and pick a fight, you could end up in much worse circumstances. Instead, calmly explain your electronic cigarette and think of it as the perfect time to educate your city’s police department on ecigs. You will save many vaping drivers a lot of trouble by taking a few minutes to rationally explain e-cig technology to a cop that is not familiar with vaping.
Another strategy is to keep information about e-cigs in your car so you can hand them out if you ever get pulled over. This could be a print out from your e-cig brand’s website or the “membership card” that came in your starter kit. You could also keep a copy of the ingredients in your e-liquid so the police can instantly see exactly what is in your ecig.
Most importantly, drive carefully if you are using an e-cigarette. If you are driving responsibly, it’s not as likely that a traffic officer will notice you passing by. Opt for an ecig that doesn’t produce massive vapor clouds so you don’t hinder visibility and put yourself or other passengers at risk. When used responsibly, electronic cigarettes are much safer than cigarettes for drivers. There is no ash to burn you and no need to be distracted by a lighter. Battery-operated ecigs are actually a positive option for drivers that need a nicotine fix. Just make sure you are ready to answer questions if you get pulled over by a cop that isn’t familiar with e-cig technology.
Have you ever been questioned by a cop for vaping behind the wheel?