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Cops issue holiday warning after driver, 73, charged with drug use during traffic stop

A 73-year-old man allegedly spilled cocaine on himself during a routine traffic stop.

A 73-year-old man allegedly spilled cocaine on himself during a routine traffic stop.  (Seattle.gov)

A holiday warning from the Seattle Police Department: “Please abstain from using cocaine, especially during a traffic stop.”

One 73-year-old Washington man learned that lesson the hard way, after he spilled cocaine on himself while pulled over for a headlights infraction on Dec. 2.

“You’re about to snort coke on the side of the road?”

- Officer Nic Abts-Olsen

Officer Nic Abts-Olsen initiated the stop around 8:30 p.m. when he noticed the unidentified man’s Toyota did not have its lights on. Before Abts-Olsen approached the vehicle, he saw the driver had a spotless driving record. As he walked to the driver’s side door, Abts-Olsen later said he was prepared to simply give the man a warning.

Then he saw white powder all over the driver and a vial in the man’s left hand.

“Are you kidding?” Abts-Olsen said in a video posted on seattle.gov. “You’re about to snort coke on the side of the road?”

The man initially attempted to explain the substance was “vitamins.”

“Finally, the man relented, complimented Officer Abts-Olsen on his keen detection skills and admitted that snorting cocaine in the middle of a traffic stop was, perhaps, a poor decision,” a story on the police department blog said.

The 73-year-old driver was arrested and booked into the King County Jail for narcotics possession.