Example of how the police can search your car without a warrant or your consent [video]

From your link, it seems that you’re not obligated to do anything the officer asks of you if he has no reason to suspect you’re intoxicated.

If the motorist does not wish to comply, the police, in absence of an articulable reason to believe a crime has been or is being committed, must allow the driver to proceed. In the face of police inquiries based on less than probable cause, the citizen has the right to remain silent and move on without fear of retaliation in the form of further detention. The “right not to respond” permits motorists to refrain from engaging in alphabet recitations or other “command performances” of verbal and physical exercises.
The Supreme Court of Oregon observed:
“I know of no law that obliges a driver to answer an officer’s questions or perform ‘field tests’ directed at determining whether the driver has committed the crime of driving under the influence of intoxicants. Reluctance to inform the detained driver that such cooperation is voluntary can only demonstrate the state’s willingness to take advantage of those of its citizens who are ignorant of their rights though it must respect the rights of those who know them.”

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I don’t know. If this were a border stop, I think those are pretty seedy. Or a discriminatory pullover, sure, expose the abuse. But a a DUI stop? Not the place to take a constitutional stand. I feel like it’s all of societies duty to to be diligent about drinking and driving, and part of that means helping the police check. Not rolling down the window in the beginning, with the camera running, you know the kid was purposely trying to provoke a situation that was beneficial to his argument. Its kind of like saying your not constitutionally obligated to help someone who just dropped their groceries all over the sidewalk, then being mad at everybody who thinks you’re a dick because you didn’t help. Yes, the cops overstepped their boundaries later on, but please, are DUI checkpoints an unjust precaution. Save it for the border stops and random pullovers.

It’s only illegal in some states, definitely not all, and even in those states I don’t think it’s been fully tested in court.

However, I seriously wonder what would happen if the first thing you did when the cop pulled you over is inform them (a la almost every call to a corporation ever) that you were going to record these interactions, and state that by continuing to talk to you they were agreeing to such. If they do not agree to being recorded, they could leave to avoid recording.

Would this work? They can’t claim wiretapping because you flatly informed them that you were going to start recording (it’s not wiretapping if you tell them before it happens). Seriously, cops record ever single thing in the interaction with you without informing you (dashboard cams).

Option B: Start a recording as soon as you notice the cop following you. When the cop pulls you over, inform him that you’re recording yourself, and it’s up to him if he wants to put himself in the recording.

Any lawyers around who can comment on how these options would work out?


Its important to know your rights, sure.

But after years of seeing these videos though I can’t help but feel they’re impractical. If the guy in the video would have cooperated, he would have sailed right through. Isn’t that what you really want if you haven’t done anything wrong? I think if anything, what this video does show that if you have done something wrong and don’t cooperate, the cops are going to bend over backwards any way they can to make sure they can catch you doing it.

I was detained once upon a time for graffiti and I got bags pockets, everything searched. Apparently, when I reached for my pocket, the officer was concerned and had to make sure I didn’t have a weapon. Go figure. The reality is that in these situations, cops pretty much have the power. Don’t get me started on how almost all the videos like this I’ve seen are made by white men…

Not that I agree with Trent, but police do not protect the rights of American citizens, they enforce laws. If an officer of the law believes that you have broken the law they can arrest you. I’d never count on the police to protect my rights. Your rights are yours to protect.


I have been told that if you are being pulled over in a deserted or darkened area, you can call 911 and inform the operator that you will not pull over until you can stop in a populated and well-lit area. I am not sure how much truth there is to this or if police officers are generally willing to accept this request.

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[quote=“jeggs, post:44, topic:14643”]
I think if anything, what this video does show that if you have done something wrong and don’t cooperate, the cops are going to bend over backwards any way they can to make sure they can catch you doing it.[/quote]
Sure, except … he hadn’t done anything wrong, and fairly early on they knew it. Yet they still bent over backwards to fuck with his day. And his rights.


Uh huh. And the anti-gun lobby here will tell you there is NO REASON for american citizens to possess the means with which to combat a tyrannical domestic military force. And american citizens who band together to combat civil abuses in ANY OTHER WAY than occupying some useless city park until nothing at all happens are obviously extremist wackos. I’m sure a good march will teach that cop a lesson! Occupy a public park 27 miles from his house, that’ll fix 'em!

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Oh, you guys! You’re so gosh darned cute!


You… want me to take my shirt off? :blush:

Stand your ground!

What the hell’s with all that fawning “yes, sir” “no, sir” “three bags full, sir”? The police are not your superiors and do not merit “sir”. Be polite of course, but “officer” is quite sufficient. Then again as a citizen of an old feudal nation maybe I’m oversensitive…

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Yeah, I tell that all the black Germans who get singled out by conductors or the police.

Oh, I didn’t realized that he was drafted into service. And here I thought that kind of stuff ended in the USA shortly after Vietnam…

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It’s cool man, you can speak Australian without subtitles in here.

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Some parts of America were founded as fully feudal societies - slave states. They remained feudal societies after the American Revolution and they retain the requirement to respect authority. Other parts of america were near anarchy (Appalachia) and had this veneer of respect for authority imposed on them by their very authoritarian neighbors and by military service. Use of titles and formality are just the surface the attitudes go deep.

What I find irksome is when the authority addresses you as mister or miss as a subtle insult - as if to remind you of your station.

In DC, the Metro police set up bag-search checkpoints inside Metro stations. They put a sign outside saying that you can opt out of the search by not entering the station. However, if you do turn around and walk away, that is deemed suspicious behavior and the police follow you. Also, when a Metro station is attached to some other facility (such as Union Station), it’s hard to tell where the official station boundary is and they don’t put the sign where you can see it before you step over the line. Then they gotcha.

WMATA Metro police followed citizen who refused bag search

The young man may have failed to make the kind of video he wanted…

but the part with the dog was educational.

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I’m actually surprised that they didn’t take or destroy the video. Heard on the video, “He knows his rights. It wasn’t a very good alert”. That, to me, sounds like the police may even be somewhat uncomfortable with their own actions. Also, the driver is questioned as to whether he is an attorney. So right there they want to find out how much they can get away with.

Depends on the standards of the Police Department. Some have dogs that are very well trained, and have a very high success to failure ratio on their signalling.

Others have dogs that are pretty much explicitly trained to signal every time, like the dog from the anus-violation story, which has a 100% signal rate but has never actually found drugs.

A dog must demonstrate sufficient skill in order to be certified or maintain certification (I believe), but the anus-violation case demonstrated quite clearly that Police Departments are under no obligations to use certified dogs, or to keep their dogs certified.

In situations like this, the dog is actually properly trained, but that doesn’t stop officers from claiming whatever it is they want despite the animal NOT actually signaling.