ASK A COP — Continue giving officers requested licenses, IDs

Published 12:07 am Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Dave from Port Arthur asks: Officer Antoine, with this coronavirus that pandemic that’s now spreading across this country, I have a question regarding citizens contact with law enforcement. I’m a 74-year-young man in good health, but I’m not ignorant to the fact that this disease has a greater chance of causing harm to people my age and older. I try to maintain the six feet distance of separation while dealing with anyone, but I was stopped by a law enforcement officer recently and he asked me for my driver’s license, which made me very uncomfortable. I didn’t want to give it to him, not because I was trying to hide something but for my safety and the safety of my wife. During this time of crisis in America, is it permissible to just give the officer my license number or just show my license without him actually touching my license?

Answer: What a PANDEMIC we are experiencing in this country. Something like I’ve NEVER experienced in my lifetime. Dave, we’ve had many viruses that were of great concern to this nation but to my memory NONE on this level. Dave, I truly understand your concern but as of yet there hasn’t been any law changes on the local, county or state level that has modified the surrendering of your license when demanded by law enforcement officer. Most are doing their best to halt the spread of this deadly virus, even to the point as someone was sighted in Walmart with a FULL hazmat suit on while shopping. You still must give any law enforcement officer that requests that form of identification. I’m sure you are well stocked with sanitizers, so to better protect yourself I suggest you sanitize your identification after receiving it back from the officer, but you must surrender the license unless the officer is on the same page with you.

Carolina from Groves asks: Can a driver of a car receive a ticket because of bad brakes? My friend has brake problems with her car, now I will admit her car stops but the brakes have to be pumped to function correctly. I’m afraid to drive her car, but she seems to manage her car just fine. Is it legal or illegal to drive a car with bad brakes?

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Answer: Any vehicle that’s on the roadways of Texas with malfunctioning brakes presents a hazard to all motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. I wouldn’t dare ride in your friend’s vehicle until she has her brakes repaired. And, YES, Carolina you can receive a citation for operating a vehicle with defective brakes. Brakes are a very important part of the vehicle that must be functioning correctly to prevent injury or death on the roadways of Texas. Remember when we are driving we are moving several tons of metal at various speeds and a proper working brake system is a top priority.

Lovely from Beaumont asks: I recently read your article where you spoke very clearly about the dangers of texting while driving, in which I agree with you 100 percent. With that said, I think an equal danger on the roads are drivers who allow their dogs to be all over their body while driving, mostly having their head and legs out of the driver’s window. I’m not an animal hater. I have two wonderful fur friends, but they’re not allowed to be on me while driving. Is having a dog all over the driver a distraction and is this legal or why isn’t this illegal?

Answer: Laws are made only after something happens, so in the state of Texas, I thank God nothing monumental has occurred to someone because a dog was sitting on the driver’s lap. Therefore there’s no such law in Texas that requires a dog to wear a seatbelt or be restrained in a crate while a motor vehicle is being driven. Only Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Rhode Island have laws that enforce the safe crating or restraining of a dog while they are being transported in a motor vehicle. I must say I’m not a hater of our furry friends, but I, like you, have trained my dogs to sit down while in a motor vehicle. Lovely, let’s hope we NEVER have to make this a law in Texas!!!

Join Officer Antoine for Ask A Cop Live on KSAP 96.9 FM, “The Breeze” radio station, every Tuesday from 1 to 2:30 p.m. 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 at Ask your question live at 409-982-0247. Email questions to, or call 409-983-8673 and leave a message or 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!