In S3:E2 Walt is pulled over for a broken windshield. He refuses to stay in his car and is irate with the police officer, claiming he is within his rights... And is subsequently pepper sprayed and (it's implied) arrested.

Did he do anything he shouldn't? Was the police officer overstepping his authority? The show suggests Walt is the one in the wrong.

1 Answer 1


It's routine in many countries that refusing to obey lawful police orders is in itself some sort of offense. The officer was writing him a ticket (a minor penalty) for driving an unsafe vehicle, which it clearly was. He ordered Walt to stay in his car.

New Mexico law includes

66-7-4. Obedience to police officers.

No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer invested by law with authority to direct, control or regulate traffic.

In addition to refusing to stay in his car, his behavior was belligerent and threatening towards the police officer, who is just a public official going about his duty. I don't want to be political, but people have endured far worse than pepper spray for less.

  • I mean sure the reality is you do what they say! I hadn't realised that was actually a law though, thanks.
    – Mr. Boy
    Sep 5, 2020 at 12:27
  • Trevor Noah recently did a bit about the fact that "resisting arrest" is in itself an offense. He told the story of a man who was legally and lawfully arrested for resisting an illegal and unlawful arrest by the exact same officer within seconds of each other, and there is nothing that can be done about it, because the second arrest was for an actual offense that was committed, namely resisting the false arrest. Sep 8, 2020 at 11:52

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