In my career as a journalist, I've willingly ridden along with the police department, but I never sat shotgun in a health inspector's car. It's one thing to see a kitchen or dining room with your eyes; it's another to see them through the inspector's clipboard.
Obviously, there are different levels of violations -- the water turned off in a sink is likely to be forgiven a lot more quickly than uncovered tubs of raw chicken at room temperature. Also, we're going to be eating some bug fragments, even in the cleanest establishments, based on what's allowed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Do you know if your favorite restaurant has recently had health-code violations? Or perhaps, more importantly, do you care, and how much leeway are you willing to give a place?