ASK A COP: Being a good driver can make you feel like a king

Published 10:57 pm Monday, February 1, 2016

Several GOOD drivers in the city of Port Arthur have been shocked by being stopped by a police officer because they weren’t breaking any law of the Texas Transportation Code. But, they were soon excited to discover they were stopped because of their GOOD driving behavior. It was surreal to many drivers as Port Arthur Police officers returned from their vehicles with a big cake box. All drivers were surprised and rewarded with the sweet deliciousness of the World famous Rao’s King Cakes, during our 1st Annual Laissez les bons “Drivers” Rouleer, or Let the Good Drivers Roll! As we announced last week, the Port Arthur Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit Supervisor Lt. Steve Brinson, in partnership with Rao’s Bakery owner Jake Tortorice Jr., would be presenting “GOOD DRIVERS” with five (5) FREE King Cakes every day starting this Thursday, Jan. 28, through Fat Tuesday, Feb. 9,. Traffic Enforcement Officers will be seeking drivers who are part of the traffic solution in Port Arthur, and reward them with a fresh made King Cake from Rao’s for their good driving behavior. Traffic Officers will be especially focusing on drivers who properly secure their children in their motor vehicle. We will also be passing out Rao’s famous sugar cookies to compliant motorists. The Port Arthur Police Department is truly grateful for Mr. Jake Tortorice Jr. for his big heart and kindness to help us give something so wonderful as King Cakes and sugar cookies to our good drivers! So if a member to the Traffic Unit is signaling you to pull over to speak with you, there just may be a delicious sweet surprise coming your way. Laissez les bons Driver Rouleer and YOU could be next to receive a world famous Rao’s King Cake!

John from Nederland asks: Officer Antoine, your column has become the center focal point of my men’s meetings on Tuesday mornings. My question is about transporting concealed weapons on school property like parking lots. Now we are aware that guns are not permitted on school property, and they shouldn’t be. But if I go pick up my granddaughter from school and I have my gun concealed inside my vehicle, and I drive onto school property parking lot to pick her up, am I in violation of having a firearm on school grounds?

Answer: Very good question, John! Thanks for being a regular reader of this column! John, believe it or not, it’s comments like this that let me know we are not doing this in vain. It is permissible by the state of Texas to have a weapon in your vehicle if you are going to the school, and you are keeping the weapon concealed while in the parking lot of the school. You can NOT enter any school with the weapon concealed or open carry, even if you are a license holder in the state of Texas. It’s legal to transport a weapon to an athletic event as long as you leave the weapon in your vehicle.

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Kathy from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, my driver license is about to expire. How long can I drive on an expired Driver License before I am violating the law? I work during the hours that I have to renew my license and the state won’t allow me to renew online.

Answer: Good question, Kathy! Sounds like you are caught between a rock and a hard place. Well Kathy, I don’t have ANY good news for you either. There is no grace period to allow motorists to operate a motor vehicle after the expiration period on your license has passed. If you are issued a citation for an expired Driver License and get your license renewed within (twenty) 20 working days, the Judge may dismiss the charge and assess an administrative fee, not to exceed $20. With all that said Kathy, sounds like you need to be the 1st person in line when the state opens for business before your license expires.

Helen from Labelle asks: Officer Antoine, is that 800 number on back of my Texas Driver License for auto aid if a motorist is having vehicle problems or is it for police help?

Answer: Good question, Helen! This toll-free number was established in 1989 to get help to motorists whose vehicles are disabled on state and federal roads in Texas. The number is answered by a someone in Austin. Here is the number that you are referring to, Helen, 800-525-5555. Here are a few occasions when a motorist may call the Hotline. If you are stranded with car problems, hazardous road conditions, debris in the roadway, suspicious activities at a rest area, or obviously intoxicated or dangerous drivers. Do not use this number in case of an emergency.  Call 911. If the operator deems the call is the responsibility of local police, they will switch you to the appropriate law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction.

Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop live, on KSAP 96.9 FM The Breeze radio station, every Tuesday for 1 hour from 1p-2p. Tune in and listen as Officer Antoine discusses in detail the newly released “Ask A Cop” article that printed in The News. You can also tune in via internet at Feel free to call in and ask your question live to Officer Antoine at (409) 982-0247. Remember to email your questions to, or call 409-984-8541 and leave a voice mail question, or mail them to: Ofc. Rickey Antoine, 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public you can Ask A Cop!