We want to help clear the air here. There have been some inquiries about this situation with reality star and NFL quarterback wife Kristin Cavallari’s recent run-in with the law in Chicago. It’s all in the terminology, and some people in conspiracy circles are crying foul because it seems fishy why Cavallari’s incident was handled the way it was in contrast to the way it is handled for others. So, let’s analyze the situation and see if we can get some closure on what is really a very trivial matter.
Cavallari was pulled over for speeding. She has a California license, not an Illinois one. Because California doesn’t have an agreement with Illinois to make their licenses compatible, there is a strict law that in Illinois, residents must get an Illinois license within 90 days of moving to the state. Now, Cavallari does technically still reside in California, but she famously married Jay Cutler, the quarterback of the Chicago Bears, and it is known that they have a residence in Chicago as well. So, you can see why your friendly traffic cop might take issue with her account of things. Anyhow, what it comes down to is this. Since Illinois does not recognize California licenses, the situation was no different than if Cavallari had no license at all. The law calls for her to be arrested at this point, because that’s what happens when you drive without a license (and we mean not having one at all, not having simply left it at home).
The police officers could have made a terrible scene, pulled her out of her car, marched her off in handcuffs, and caused a media sensation for days over the incident. Instead, they decided to follow her to the police station and politely allow her to post bond and leave without any trouble. Their actions were perfectly reasonable and probably best for all parties. However, would Kristin have been treated the same if she were not who she is? Well, let’s face the facts. It’s unlikely that Chicago’s police do this escort service on a regular basis for every crackhead on the street they find driving without a license. So, no, if Kristin were not Kristin, she probably would have been handcuffed and stuffed in the back of a police car. However, it’s worth noting that the average person wouldn’t cause that much of a spectacle if they were arrested either.
So, was Kristin arrested? Well, technically, just being pulled over for speeding is getting arrested. Yes, when you get ticketed for speeding, you were under arrest, albeit temporarily. If you are not free to leave, then you are under arrest. You sign the ticket stating that you promise to appear in court, and then the officer allows you to leave. If you refuse to sign, you would be taken into custody physically. If Kristin had refused to go along with the escort, it’s a safe assumption she would have been treated in a more conventional manner. In any case, she did get arrested, no matter how the media and her own account choose to portray it.
What difference does it make? Not much. But to some soccer mom that got hauled off in handcuffs that same day over something just as trivial, it might be a much sorer subject.