Traffic violations - effecting entry??

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by carachi, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. carachi

    carachi New Member

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    Does anyone know if a history of traffic violations will effect my entry.
    I have had about 2 violations/year for last 5 years.
    Small garden variety ones - some examples-- 5ml over in school district ; driving a friends car which wasn't registered (didn't know) judge overturned this one but still on record; not stopping long enough at stop sign (you have to stop for three sec's & cop deemed I only stopped for 1 sec - yep for real); then there was a couple of speeding - nothing over 10ml.
    So how is this going to effect me getting in?
     
  2. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA Alumnus 5-Year Member

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    It will negatively affect your application.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but there is a section in the application to disclose traffic violations. If I were in admissions and I saw a candidate with 10 traffic violations, then I would probably label that person as a repeat offender and specifically someone who does not respond well to authority.

    You will need to be stellar to balance this out. Imagine all the other candidates who do not have traffic violations, but otherwise look practically identical to you on paper.
     
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  3. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator 10-Year Member

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    If I were your ALO and you presented me a resume that said you had violated (willfully) the law 10 times, I'd ask you why you think the laws don't apply to you?

    And then I'd think VERY long and hard about how good a candidate you might be? Why? Because in 4 decades of driving, I've had one ticket.

    This is something that you will have to think long and hard on how you will approach it with an interviewer. It will come up again and should you become a candidate, the academy WILL find out about each and everyone on that's on the record.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
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  4. carachi

    carachi New Member

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    Ok great. Thank you both for that insight. I myself am horrified that I have these violations. I never thought of myself as a law breaker EVER! but the way you have both put it, I suppose I am.
    Stellar applicant I am. I believe, at the risk of sounding arrogant, an extremely strong competitor for application. I would def. say this area is my only problem. But it's a big problem isn't it. It could be a decider.
    Ok. If I could breakdown my violations to u would that help? What I mean is I believe most, though not all, there is a reason for each one. Do u think they would bother listening or just see them as excuses.
    I don't believe they are excuses, only reasons. I take full responsibility for each one, I just know they don't define me in anyway with regards to the law.
    For example, where I live, is a quiet and affluent area (I'm not affluent at all, am living in where I work). The police are bored and their only revenue and excitement is traffic stops. In fact it is such a problem in this area it has been in our local paper. Stopping grannies for driving too slow for example. Hence my 1sec stop sign not 3secs. I just think if they actually look at each offence they might see I'm not actually breaking the law, it's just been an interpretation of the law. Except for the 2 actual speeding fines I received I can honestly say I could have taken each one to court and probably got each one overturned. But who can afford that.
    Anyway, do I reiterate this to recruiting and application or do I just beg to be forgiven and ask them to trust that it won't be a future occurrence.
    Or should I just not bother applying at all? (Which just maybe unthinkable).
     
  5. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    So you never went to traffic court for any of the 10 summonses because you didn't have the time to go? I mean traffic court doesn't cost $ to attend & have early/late hours for working people. You state that there's a reason for each summons, that's true...The reason is that the cop observed you commit a moving violation... & the cops picked on you because they're bored & need summons revenue in an affluent area?? I am confused because that strategy is/was put in place by town officials of poor areas. Traffic stops (along with DV calls) are the most dangerous/potentially violent activities in LE...don't know any PO's who got excited by having to do them; we like to stay in the car, drink coffee & eat donuts, as you might say.

    Anyway, your question is what to do about them re: the military. You can only explain each occurrence when preparing your application(s). Suggestion: Stay away from blaming the cops for your apparent poor/dangerous driving habits & portraying yourself as "the victim". That will start to get old around the 7th or 8th summons explanation.[​IMG]
     
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  6. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Moderator 5-Year Member

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    You probably don't realize just how many members of this forum are current or retired law enforcement officers! :eek:

    I agree with wishful, if you are to have ANY chance at getting through the mess you have created, you have to accept full responsibility for your actions.

    Good luck.
     
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  7. rkv

    rkv Member

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    If you are interested in a career as an officer in the USAF you should apply. There are numerous posts where participants will put forward the view that experimenting with marijuana does not necessarily have to be a barrier to gaining entry. The key is how one responds to questions on the subject. Similarly, I would think these incidents, which do not involve accidents or alcohol, might actually be an easier conversation to have. Your attitude in responding to such questions will be key. Although, it would be nice to see the frequency of incidents declining and I don't believe taking the view "... I'm not actually breaking the law..." would necessarily be helpful to your cause. Good luck.
     
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  8. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 5-Year Member

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    Generally speaking, if you get caught for a traffic violation, you "got away with" 50 others. i.e. if I intentionally ran 30 different stop signs in a row, statistically speaking, I doubt I would get pulled over even once. So when you get 10 tickets, you have violated the law hundreds of times. I'm no saint; I've gotten about 4 tickets in 35 years of driving. I've also gotten pulled over 3 or 4 additional times and let go. And I fought 2 others and won. I use to drive 60,000 miles a year or 4x more than others. So statistically speaking, I was going to get more tickets when I speed, ran stop signs, etc. Solution: stop speeding above the "allowable" amount (which I did). When I slowed down, not-so-mysteriously, I have not gotten a ticket in over 10 years. But I never rationalized that a cop was bored or use "granny" in a sentence to justify my irresponsibility. To me at least, that smells of someone that has not learning their lesson yet.

    As a side note, when I figure out a road or area always has a police checking the speed (for the safely of others), then I slow the heck down in that area! If I was interviewing you and you told me what you typed (your town is tough on violations), I would think: gee, this guy isn't too bright and continues to violate the law in a tough area. As you see, you can never win over anybody but your own mind when you rationalize.

    So if the OP was my son, I'd remind of his flaw (we all have them) of not being able to admit when he is wrong. And until that actually sinks in, the risk of getting into the Academy should be up in the air. To the OP: own up to your errors and change. If it in your heart, that will come across. When I have those epiphanies, it would be easy for me to explain why I've changed. But it starts with finally figured it out that you are getting a lot more tickets because you are not learning your lessons. In short, getting into the Academy can be accomplished when you figure out how to communicate how you have learned your lesson (maybe even including an explanation on how you attempted to rationalize your immaturity). To the Op; I'm not beating you up. I sincerely wish you the best! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  9. time2

    time2 10-Year Member

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    Perhaps if you post your h.s. resume, we could provide a more complete view of where you stand relative to other applicants.
     
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  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    If the OP has 5 years of driving history assuming they have some post high school time also. Heck I am still trying to figure out how they can afford to still drive with all those tickets and in the most expensive age group!
     
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  11. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    OP - in the military, there is something called "operational risk management." You will assess all the known risks, do your best to allow for unknown risks, and plan your operation accordingly. You clearly understand the known risks of driving in your hometown area, based on your personal observation, results of your own actions and even a newspaper report. The prudent officer plans and operates accordingly, taking responsibility for all failures.

    You did what you did. Figure out a way to say "yes, I went through a period of irresponsible driving that was no fault but my own, and I have changed my driving habits, learning a valuable lesson about self-discipline and accountability." With not a word about any external reasons.

    The only other bit of advice I will offer is if you are using "effect" or "affect" in any part of your written applications, make sure you are using the correct one for the meaning you intend.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    I agree.

    Carachi,
    I hope before you state you are a stellar applicant you have taken time to research the Chance Me threads here. I don't know what state you are from, but for example, VA is a very competitive state where the MoCs spread the wealth. In short it means you will be lucky to get one nomination. The MoCs here can have up to 700 applicants for 1 slate of 10 nominees.

    You also state you have been driving for 5 years which makes you at least near 21 (assuming you got your permit at 15 1/2). Now the question is what have you been doing since you graduated HS 3 years ago? Have you been in college? If so, than why are you looking to go to the SA and not just go OTS?
    ~ An ALO or MoC nomination committee may ask just that question.
     
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  13. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American 5-Year Member

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    Rationalization and deflecting blame don't go over well at any academy. You are doing a lot of both. If you get an appointment, how long until it's "cadre unfair", "rules too strict", "haircuts are unnecessary", etc?

    You messed up, you got busted, step up and take the medicine. The past is past. Have a great future.
     
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  14. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty 5-Year Member

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    1. Do not incur any more violations. It's not that hard, really, and you will be able to demonstrate that you are maturing.

    2. Apply, but have a Plan B and Plan C.
     
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  15. HuskyPilot

    HuskyPilot Member

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    If you you truly want this - apply and be 100% honest. Don't make any excuses. 10 traffic violations clearly show that you simply didn't consider it important to follow the letter of the law while driving and you gave no consideration to the consequences. To try to explain 10 violations any other way is insulting and obviously an attempt to cover the truth which would demonstrate a weak foundational character difficult to build upon. Don't let this discourage your future success regardless of a service academy appointment or not. Use this as a powerful example of how important and impactful our decisions are/can be in life. I wish you the best of luck and success!
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  16. Blessedmom

    Blessedmom Member

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    I attended college is an all white & very affluent neighborhood. I was fortunate enough to have a new car to drive to school, but my friend (who is half Mexican & African American) drove an orange junk of a car. You don't know how many times he was pulled over by cops & campus security and constantly questioned.
     
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  17. USAFA10s

    USAFA10s USAFA Class of 2012 Kirtland, AFB 10-Year Member

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    Exactly what I was thinking. If you are anything other than white and driving a car that doesn't match the rest (old/beat up) in your area, statistics show you WILL be pulled over more often.
     
  18. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 5-Year Member

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    Unfortunately that is true. In Sacramento, blacks get pulled over 4x more than whites http://www.sacbee.com/news/investigations/the-public-eye/article148187399.html .

    I often observe sportier vehicles being pulled over as well as older/beat-up cars. Also, I notice more younger people in the drivers seat. I certainly drove like an idiot at age 16-20 as the actuary tables predicted and only one ticket. So 10 is a lot.

    With that said, getting 10 tickets in 5 years is over the top. I suspect if the OP was a minority and drove a beat-up car, that would have came out in his reasoning for his tickets. He mentioned that the problem was the police and it was even written up in the newspaper. In other words, his town has decided that they want people to obey the traffic laws and ticket accordingly. Knowing that, he has decided that it wasn't his fault that he was speeding, rolling stop signs. etc but rather the polices desire to raise revenue out of boredom. He was rationalizing and based off of history, he might be getting another couple of tickets this coming year even if he owns a 2017 car and he is white.

    Of course, we are both guessing,
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2017
  19. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    I wrote a long response to USAFA10s & Blessedmom's posts but I took a page from President Lincoln & filed it.:bleh2:
     
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  20. HuskyPilot

    HuskyPilot Member

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    I just hope the OP doesn't attempt to use race and vehicle age/appearance as an excuse. And I hear you Wishful.... I think this thread has served its purpose....