I had the distinct honor of being able to talk to a great group of students last week in a class I was asked to come speak in. Even though for some crazy reason they have asked me to come back and talk with the class several times over the last few, I still have this huge fear of speaking in front of large groups. After 20 years of doing talks with various groups, I still feel the need to pack an extra pair of undies (yes, I know the flower goes in front) just in case.

I fret about it for weeks ahead of time, prep and re-prep a PowerPoint presentation with lots of clowns being arrested to distract from the nervous chatter I’m spewing, and what happens? Ten minutes in and the questions start. Before I know it, two hours have passed, and the instructor is throwing erasers at my head in an attempt to make me shut up.

The point I’m making is that we all have fears.  Some are rational and some not so rational. My fear of falling into the sarlacc pit? Not rational. The fear of being called a dork for being afraid of falling into the sarlacc pit? Rational. But regardless of your fears, rational or irrational as they may be, sometimes it pays to ask if you are nervous about doing something for a reason. You might find that the consequences are pretty hefty.

Is it illegal to give your friend a prescription pill like Adderall?

Not always! I know many are shocked to hear that, but it’s true! Of course you need to first attend medical school for four years after getting your bachelor’s degree and then another three years of residency. Then, after a proper medical examination, you can prescribe the pill. See? Easy.

There is the little issue, however, if you skip any of the steps I’ve outlined above, which could result in your committing a felony for supplying drugs. Even if it seems like one Adderall pill is not dangerous, there is a reason doctors are required to go through all of that training before they begin doling out meds.

The same drug can affect people differently, and without knowing a person’s medical background, you don’t know if they could have a bad reaction to any one pill. And, in brief, if you give them a pill and for whatever reason they do not tolerate that drug, you are responsible. If they die from anything you gave them, you can also be charged with manslaughter. Not cool…

What’s the easiest way to get out of a ticket?

Umm, don’t speed? I am resisting the urge to say drive faster than the cop, but I think that would be considered bad advice and my chief would probably re-assign me to kitchen dumpster guard duty.  However, if you do get pulled over, the best advice I can give you is simply to be honest. If you get pulled over, odds are you are going to get a ticket unless you whip out that silver tongue of yours and do a dance that convinces the cop otherwise.

Then again, if I pulled you over and you pulled out a silver-plated human tongue and jumped out of your car to start doing your own rendition of the famed Celtic Riverdance, I would likely forget about the ticket and haul you in for a psych eval. Sure, three days in a mental ward, but no ticket!

Again, the best advice I can give you is to be polite and truthful with the police. We pulled you over because we saw something that concerned us. If you argue with a cop or tell him/her that they left their dignity at Dunkin’ Donuts, you’re going to get the ticket.  For me, if someone is honest, apologetic and able to recognize what they did as a violation, I am much more likely to give that person a break and not write a ticket. And really, do you not think I wouldn’t go back to find that box of donuts in the road you swerved across two lanes to avoid? As if.

If the speed limit is 65 mph how much faster can I go? (Without fear of being ticketed?)

On the freeway, the speed limit is posted at 65 MPH and per the vehicle code, going 66 MPH is a violation, and you could get stopped and cited. However, to be honest, when I was five, the dead frog my brother found in his bed was not put there by Bigfoot, but by me. Okay, nothing to do with speeding, but while we are being candid here, I wanted to get that off my chest.

Generally, if I am on the freeway, I wouldn’t consider pulling someone over unless they were going 75 MPH. But that’s me. Every cop has their own idea as to what they will pull someone over for. Some may pull you over at 70 MPH. Some may not pull you over unless you’re going 80. You just never know who’s behind you and what their thought process is. If you’re going 70, you’ll probably be fine. Then again, the cop behind you might be a big Riverdance fan.

It’s already May and the school year is quickly coming to a close. The pressure is on with finals happening soon, so good luck to you all. Take it easy, and if you run into any problems, please don’t hesitate to ask me for help. I am always happy to do what I can for you. Take care and stay safe!

Sgt. Signa is no stranger to kitchen dumpster guard duty. Someone has to keep Mr. Albino Raccoon in check.


Got caught by a cop?  Your party popped by the Po-Po?  Ticked by a ticket?  If you have questions, don’t let it eat away at you, Question Authority! Email me anytime at QA@police.ucsb.edu or call UCSB PD at 893-3446.

Views expressed on the Opinion page do not necessarily reflect those of the Daily Nexus or UCSB. Opinions are submitted primarily by students.

A version of this article appeared on page 8 of the May 6, 2013 print edition of the Nexus.