David and Susan retired a few years ago and have traveled extensively since then. They usually rented a car while they explored their latest holiday destination.
By: Natasha Morgan
As you travel to visit family and friends during the holiday season, you may decide that it’s easier for everyone if you rent a car at your destination. Â So, you go on the internet and check out rates and special deals. When you find one that is suitable, you book your rental car and feel comfortable that you have made a good decision.
When you arrive, you go and pick up your rental car. Before driving off, you walk around the vehicle and make sure there are no scrapes or dents that could be attributed to you. You get in the car, test the lights, windshield wipers and turn indicators. You adjust the seat and mirrors for your comfort and visibility. That should do it. You can now hit the road.
Here’s a story that will have you thinking about further steps you need to take when renting a car:
Then, a year ago September on a drive along the California coast they were caught speeding. It wasn’t muchâ€¦ less than 10 mph but the State Troopers pulled them over. Very politely they asked for Dave’s driver’s license , ownership and insurance. Susan helpfully reached into the center console to search for the car rental documents. When her hand grasped a small plastic bag, she automatically thought it must be air fresher. The Trooper said “may I see that please?” Susan easily handed the bag to him and they were immediately told to get out of the car. Bewildered they got out and heard the Trooper call for backup.
The next forty minutes were frightening and humiliating. They watched the Troopers systematically inspect the entire car and every piece of clothing in their suitcases. Curious stares from passing vehicles made them feel like criminals. By then, they had figured out that the innocent looking air freshener was marijuana. Since neither Susan nor Dave had previously been exposed to illegal drugs of any sort, it was easy to make the mistake. The Troopers were convinced that the marijuana did not belong to them but told them that they had to follow up and report it.
Months passed and every day they expected a police officer at their door with a warrant for their arrest. No more carefree travel. They were now saving up for attorney fees.
The story has a happy ending.
David and Susan were never charged with anything but a speeding ticket. After further investigation the police evidently decided not to pursue drug charges.
Although shaken by the traumatic experience, they now enjoy travelling again. Having learned a valuable lesson, they meticulously check every seat pocket, glove compartment and center console.
The moral of the story is obvious. Keep it in mind and enjoy safe holidays.
Â© 2010 Not Just The Kitchen
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