“It Is Not Illegal to Drive With an Axe Embedded in the Roof of Your Car”

Can you guess where this one came from? Right:

Source: Posts from Lowering the Bar for 07/26/2017

Which begins:

It is, however, not a great idea.

According to numerous sources, deputies in Wethersfield, New York, detained a gentleman on July 24 who had been driving the vehicle pictured above. I like this local source, for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that it is a great example of what they call “burying the lede.” The headline is “Java man arrested after allegedly driving a vehicle with no doors or front windshield.” And then, three paragraphs in, it says this:

Deputies say they saw Price driving the vehicle which, in addition to having no license plates, had no windshield and no doors. Additionally, officials say an axe was stuck on the roof of the car.

“Additionally.”

How did that not make it into the headline? (Note: I also like the reference to him as “Java man”—he’s from Java, New York, but it’d be fairly appropriate if the driver had been an early hominid of some kind.)

The reporter may have felt this was not a significant detail, given that Mr. Price was apparently not charged with any crimes related to said axe. The list of charges was as follows:

DWAI [Driving While Ability Impaired], no license plates, unregistered motor vehicle, uninspected motor vehicle, operating a vehicle without insurance, no front windshield, and no safety glass.

Although entirely peripheral, this essay is an excellent lesson on what a fine lawyer like Kevin Underhill does with, say, a discovery doc: he reads every word and focuses on the important facts.

Besides, it’s hilarious.

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