I have been pulled over a total of six times while driving my own car. Comparatively, I have never been pulled over while driving my grandma’s Lincoln Towncar, a friend’s Denali suburban or my mom’s Camry.
Young people are constantly profiled. If you’re under 25 and drive any kind of used car that was made in the ‘90s, you’ve probably been pulled over and searched. If not, be careful the next time you get behind the wheel.
In high school, I drove a 1988 Mazda that apparently screamed, “I’m a drug dealer!” There were growing rust spots that popped up daily on it and the transmission squealed a little, but I loved it. Cops seemed to think that since I couldn’t afford a nicer looking car, I was obviously selling cocaine and would love to find excuses to pull me over.
This has continued to happen to me even with a different, but still mediocre-looking, car.
My mother would never be asked if she had recently consumed alcohol and to “please step out of the car.” My friends and I constantly have this happen to us, even when we’re pulled over for “swerving,” a cracked windshield or a dim
Now that I’m in college but not yet 21, every adult I meet assumes I’m constantly drunk and have had multiple ‘underages.’ Frankly, it’s offensive and annoying.
I understand and appreciate that the police are trying to protect people and stop drunk drivers, but I think sobriety checks are violating. If I’m not breaking the law, what right does anybody have to stop me and smell my breath?
To top it all off, when you do need police assistance, they’re never there. I’ve been in two serious car accidents and the cops never showed up to either, so everybody involved got tired of waiting and just left.
Where are they? Busy not informing students that there was a bomb in Coyote Village, that’s where.
Their obvious effort to only bust house parties and tailgate people based on the quality of their car is ridiculous and leaves young people feeling helpless and resentful. This doesn’t do anybody any good.
This of course does not apply to all policemen and I do appreciate the nice officers who have let go with just a warning when they have rightly pulled me over for speeding, but there are always bad seeds. I once had a University Police Department car pull up behind me and block me in to where I was parked. When I got out to see what was going on, they just drove off.
It’s also frustrating how strict they are about parking tickets. Students are paying enough for tuition already. Volante staff members are oftentimes in the office until midnight on Tuesday getting the newspaper published and then are expected to walk back to where they live because the nearest available parking lot is so far away it’s not worth driving.
The response to this is that students have the option to call UPD for an escort, but who would really do that?
What would be so awful about letting students park in any lot they needed to? Nothing at all, but UPD would lose a lot of money so that’s never going to happen.
The system appears to be broken and I resent being made an example of because I’m young. I think it’s very wrong that students are being used to make money for the county and the university with constant profiling to nail young people with speeding tickets and minors.
Reach columnist Anna Burleson at