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Okay, so last night I run out of smokes and decide to run to the store. It's about 1 a.m, when I get smokes and a pop, and I decide to take a run through town. I've been stuck in the house with a full leg cast for almost three months now, and it's like the third time I've been out of the house, so I'm going for a ride. I cruise through the two beaches, you know, our 'local loop'. I get pulled over. Officer askes for my license and registration, I tell him I have a CPL and I'm not carrying as I hand him both pieces of identification with insurance and registration. He asks me if I have been drinking, and what am I doing out so late? I say no, and tell him my story. He claims he smells alcohol, and asks me to get out of the car. I told him I have just gotten my cast off a week ago, here are my crutches to prove it, you know, come on man, I OBVIOUSLY haven't been drinking, don't make me get out of the car..... He says he doesn't care if I've got a broken leg, he's going to give me a field sobriety test. Now I'm getting upset. I haven't touched a drop of alcohol in months.

Okay, I got really upset, he's giving me that ' grin' and I launched into a rant about "Your job is to protect and serve, not harass and intimidate, why don't you go catch some 'real' bad guys", and so on. Before I know it, there's two other squad cars there also. There's not much to do here on a weekday evening apparantley, so why not join the party. I was forced to get out of my car under threat of arrest for "disobeying a lawful order", and had myself and my car completely searched. No sobriety test, just searched. I will tell you that the officer who pulled me over and I have a 'history'. I kind of slept with his girlfriend 10 years ago or so, and this is not the first incident I've had. I actually went to the Prosecutor about him years ago it got so bad. I never heard what happened, but everything was fine until last night.

I admit I was VERY verbal once he started searching my car, screaming about my civil rights being violated and what a punk he was, but I was never vulgar, threatening, nor used profanity. I was let go and told to go home. That's it. My car is a mess, I had Cub Scout birdfeeders in the back seat that were strewn about, all my console brika-braka was tossed asunder, glove compartment stuff thrown on the seat, talk about .

My question: When he told me to get out of the car, was I legally obligated to? If I've done nothing wrong, and he has no real basis for making me get out so he can search me and the car, is it really a 'lawful order' to ask me to get out? Just what are MY rights as a tax paying, law abiding citizen? I'm frustrated, and need advice.
 

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um no expert on the law.. however i believe if he asked you to get out of the car you have to..
when you refused that might have given him reason to search.. he can not search based on a traffic stop alone.. but then i also suspect he had no reason to stop you anyway..

if they try to search your car they should ask you if it's ok.. most people will just agree to it..
you have the right to refuse.. now if he has probable cause to search then he wont ask.

im not really sure because there is reasonable suspicion and probable cause.. it's kinda confusing..

the main thing is never to consent to anything.. and anything they do on their own without asking might beable to be thrown out later if anything is found.

i would go to the police station and file a complaint.

also if you have been pulled over drinking and driving demand a blood test and refuse to take the breath analyzer.. this requires you going to the station though.

as for the field test.. it's really not fair asking someone with a injury to complete one of those..
and i can't say my ABC's backwards completely sober (i do not drink btw)
 

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Xiphos said:
Okay, I got really upset, he's giving me that 'shit eating grin' and I launched into a rant about "Your job is to protect and serve, not harass and intimidate, why don't you go catch some 'real' bad guys", and so on. Before I know it, there's two other squad cars there also. weekday evening apparantley, so I was forced to get out of my car under threat of arrest for "disobeying a lawful order", and had myself and my car completely searched. I will tell you that the officer who pulled me over and I have a 'history'. I kind of slept with his girlfriend 10 years ago or so, and this is not the first incident I've had.

He obviously holds a personal grudge against you due to the fact you slept with his girlfriend. However, this should not affect his ability to perform his duties the RIGHT way. Sorry to go this route but you need to file a complaint against him and give detailed information of your history together. If you weren't drinking and did not have a warrant and had no operational damage to your vehicle then he should have let you go and said have a good night. On another point of view, he could take the stance that he smelled alcohol on you even if you didn't have the odor. Your word against his.

My question: When he told me to get out of the car, was I legally obligated to?

Yes. I don't know how it works in Michigan but in NY and AZ when an officer orders you out of your vehicle they then have the right to perform a search.
 

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"officer who pulled me over and I have a 'history'. I kind of slept with his girlfriend 10 years ago"

Dang if he is that harsh what would have happened if you ACTUALLY slept with his lady? < Big Grin>

Brizz

< My apology. I just couldn't resist. I do understand this though. I went through a big hassle because of an actual misunderstanding, not a hassling, around New Year's. ( see L.E.O. encounter post for this explained)>
 

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There are several things here but in NC where I am from:

1. The stop is good if he observed a traffic infraction (speeding, left of center, no turn signal, etc-almost anything).

2. If it is a "good" stop then he may order you or your passengers out of the car. If he believes you "smell" like alcohol this can be reason to give a field sobriety test.

3. If you refuse the field sobriety test he can take you in for a breathylizer or blood test if he has suspicion you have been drinking. If you refuse, your license is suspended.

4. Your rant about your rights, him catching real crooks, etc. only hurt you. I understand about your leg but if you weren't drinking the worst you could have gotten was a ticket for the driving infraction. Court is the place to argue with the cops, not on the side of the road.

With all this being said it sounds like he may have had a grudge against you for obvious reasons. Maybe your car did or did not smell like alcohol but if not then there's nothing you can do to prove it didn't. I totally understand your side but you have to realize he has the upper hand no matter how much you don't like it. If it were me I would have been decent to him and did the tests as best as I could. Then obviously he would have nothing on you, not even the "bad" attitude. It would have worked itself out-just like it did in the end. If you are going to complain my suggestion is to speak to his supervisor-remember to be calm and rational. Explain the situation and don't rant about your rights etc. If he is a good supervisor he wil listen. I am not sure how much you can get him in trouble though-you didn't even get a ticket so it's gonna be hard to prove he has it in for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
rightherenc said:
There are several things here but in NC where I am from:

1. The stop is good if he observed a traffic infraction (speeding, left of center, no turn signal, etc-almost anything).

2. If it is a "good" stop then he may order you or your passengers out of the car. If he believes you "smell" like alcohol this can be reason to give a field sobriety test.

3. If you refuse the field sobriety test he can take you in for a breathylizer or blood test if he has suspicion you have been drinking. If you refuse, your license is suspended.

4. Your rant about your rights, him catching real crooks, etc. only hurt you. I understand about your leg but if you weren't drinking the worst you could have gotten was a ticket for the driving infraction. Court is the place to argue with the cops, not on the side of the road.

With all this being said it sounds like he may have had a grudge against you for obvious reasons. Maybe your car did or did not smell like alcohol but if not then there's nothing you can do to prove it didn't. I totally understand your side but you have to realize he has the upper hand no matter how much you don't like it. If it were me I would have been decent to him and did the tests as best as I could. Then obviously he would have nothing on you, not even the "bad" attitude. It would have worked itself out-just like it did in the end. If you are going to complain my suggestion is to speak to his supervisor-remember to be calm and rational. Explain the situation and don't rant about your rights etc. If he is a good supervisor he wil listen. I am not sure how much you can get him in trouble though-you didn't even get a ticket so it's gonna be hard to prove he has it in for you.
1. No infractions, as stated.

2. See #1

3. See #1 & #2.

4. See # 1, #2, and #3, my rant is justified, as the stop was bogus to begin with, but I refuse to lay down when in the right, "Damn the torpedoes!"

My car couldn't smell like alcohol, and I refuse to be decent to a man who is abusing his power to further his agenda. There is a time and place to stand up for right, that's why we're in America with a 'President', no subjects to a king. Remember the whole 'Taxation without representation?' If we had let that slide, where would we be? Did someone sleep with your gf to make you take this approach, when I made it OBVIOUS that I had done nothing wrong??


Am I ranting again? :D
 

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Seek leagal advice from a professional or try and talk to him man to man.
When I had a personal problem with a person in a position of authority I asked if we could resolve the matter as two people all rank aside. My situation worked out ok. Hopefully this guy will respond favorably.
 

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well he said it was like 10 years ago.. if he's holding a grudge for this long nothing will get him off your back.. im not saying it's not worth trying.. but saying the chances are almost nill, might even take him trying to "talk it out" as a sign of weakness.. it's like a dog that has it's jaws locked onto its meal.. it just aint gonna let go.
 

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Xiphos said:
Am I ranting again? :D
a

Yes!!!

Ok, nothing in my life like your situation, Not a legal or LEO background for me.

But, either, you have to take it to the next level, with his superiors, or get legal advice as to whether you can go another route, or get the heck over it.

Not sure what I would do, if I felt old history was causing the problem, but only you can decide whether you want to go further with it.
 

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If you have a problem with a LEO, file a complaint.

Arguing with the cops is not the thing to do. That is why you can go to court.

And there aren't that many cars on the road at 1am anyway.

Statistically the only cars on the road at 1am are the drunks going home from the bars, and the guy that delivers my paper.
 

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perhaps in your area.. im often late at night and i've never been drunk (i dont even drink) and have never done illegal drugs..

you also dismiss people who work night shifts.
that kind of mentality is what gives LEO's the nod to pull people over at their whim just cause of the time of day.

oh and the drunks usually hit the road around 2:30/3am.. if they're drunks they probably stayed till it closed.
 

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1. No infractions, as stated.

2. See #1

3. See #1 & #2.

4. See # 1, #2, and #3, my rant is justified, as the stop was bogus to begin with, but I refuse to lay down when in the right, "Damn the torpedoes!"

My car couldn't smell like alcohol, and I refuse to be decent to a man who is abusing his power to further his agenda. There is a time and place to stand up for right, that's why we're in America with a 'President', no subjects to a king. Remember the whole 'Taxation without representation?' If we had let that slide, where would we be? Did someone sleep with your gf to make you take this approach, when I made it OBVIOUS that I had done nothing wrong??


Am I ranting again?


1. No where in the original post did you state the reason, real or made up that you were pulled over. If it was a legit stop you should have been told why you were pulled in the first place. Even if he pulled you over because of an old grudge I feel sure he would have told you you were speeding, left of center, or some other BS reason. I cannot infer what you do not state.

2. See #1.

3. See #1& #2.

4. Again I am not trying to say this was a legitimate traffic stop but if you follow anyone long enough they will commit some traffic infraction so I am sure if he wanted to find something the officer could have. Does that make it a bad stop? No, it just means you are not a perfect driver.

5. I have no idea what your vehicle smelled like that night. I just do not think it's a smart idea to argue your rights on the side of the road. You will not win. Court is the place to do this. The supervisor's office is the place to complain, not the shoulder of the interstate.

6. Again I'm not taking sides here but you seem a little hot and bothered over a ticket you did not receive. FYI I was pulled over for a suspected DUI years ago and was completely sober. It was 2am and there were five guys in a car leaving a bar-I would probably have pulled me over too. The officer stated the reason he pulled me is I was left of center. Was I? Who knows. I did the finger to nose test and the walk test and blew on the alco-sensor and it read zero and I was on my way. I was respectful and decent and the officer was the same. Was I a little irritated? Sure.Should I have thrown a fit at 2am and made it worse? No. I guess my point is pick your battles.
 

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Christmas Eve, this year, I'm driving home from work, along my normal route. Time is about 7:30 PM. A car is behind me with his headlights shining in my rear view mirror. I decide that this could be a jackass, and as I'm driving the speed limit, he'll probably shoot past me at the first chance. My cruise is on, and my foot is near the brake in case this guy shoots around and cuts me off. Instead, he's a State Trooper and pulls me over???
When he approaches the car, he says "I need your license, registration and proof of insurance." I reach in the glovebox, and ask what was I doing wrong? He says, "I'll TELL you when you give me the information." After I give him the info, he says, "you know you have a license plate light out?"
Now this was a BS stop, and since he couldn't stop me for doing something wrong, he found something, anyway. I could have caused a scene since he didn't tell me what I was stopped for till he got off on his authority, but, I bit my lip and was polite.
This is just to say, that, if they want, they WILL find something wrong.
BTW, my comment, in the nicest tone was, " Well, I really don't check my license plate light while I'm driving."
 

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I have only had one BS incident involving LE. For the last few years before I retired, I had moved back to my home area. I was on an early shift at work, like going to work at 3 AM, arriving just before 4 AM. It was my habit to visit a Dunkin Doughnuts shop, before getting on the expressway. (Cops and Doughnut shops jokes). One morning I was following my normal proceedure, and as I got on the expressway there was a car behind me. I moved from the slow lane to the 2nd lane out as that is the direct lane for how I went to work. I set my cruise control at 55 MPH.

All of a sudden, the disco's go on behind me. I pulled right, and finally to the shoulder. The female LEO, comes to the window, and asks if I had been drinking. I said NO, as I had just gotten out of bed 30 minutes before to go to work. She advised me that I did not look like I had been drinking, but ran my license any way. NP there, mine has been clean, except for a minor speeding incident several years back that the Judge wiped off my record.

She then told me the reason for the stop that I seemed to be weaving. (Not true by the way, except for minor steering changes when I changed lanes, and maybe when I set the cruise control.) She released me to go on to work. As I pulled out to get back into the traffic lane, I saw (not the old 55 MPH signs that had been there for years) speed limit signs reading 65 MPH. I then knew, why she had pulled me over, I had been driving at 55 in a 65 zone on an expressway, usually a sure sign that someone is driving slower due to intoxication.

I also kept my yap shut, because just as she was starting to follow me, I saw 2 or three cars on the access roads and such near the expressway, that I know were occupied by drunks. Weaving, Jerky starts, and some of them had been in the doughnut shop when I was there.
 

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IMO, there is nothing to be gained getting into a verbal tirade with a jerk. That goes double if the jerk happens to be a LEO.

I use to liveaboard my sailboat in a marina in Los Angeles. One of the other boat owners was a LEO, and a jerk. He had a reputation for drinking excessively.

He had a dog that was twice the size of our dog. He never kept his dog on a leash and his dog HATED our dog. After the third time his dog attacked our dog, I filed a complaint with the marina office. They sent him a letter reminding him the leash law applied to him as well.

A few days later he spotted me in the parking lot and wigged out on me. He got his face within a foot of mine and was screaming at the top of his lungs. He was totally out of control. Rather than responding in kind (bad idea to slug a LEO), I asked if he was done and if he could repeat what he had just said because I had been distracted by the booger hanging from his nose. I could tell it took every bit of restraint he could muster to not slug me (which would have been just fine with me, CHA CHING!). He moved his boat out of the marina a few weeks later. I guess he never wanted to see me again. :devil:
 

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I work night shifts, getting off 3:00 - 4:00 AM nightly. I've been stopped a few times, usually have my work boots, gloves, UPS shirt, and sweaty. They understand I'm just trying to get home, I do drive fast but I do ~5 over with little regard for the other driver ... because well, there aren't any. I usually slow when another driver is around, because most out at the same time are cops ;)

Respect goes a long way, I know they're doing their jobs and first thing I usually say is "Hello Officer, how can I help you?".

One thing I learned from a friend was to keep a recording device in the vehicle, audible is fine. My phone has a recording function of up to 6 hours or something? I can record an entire encounter with police, and as far as I know it's within the law. I usually set my phone on my dash, it automatically saves and emails a copy to myself, and the officer has NO right to delete the file - even if he did, it still emails me a copy! This is good to know when you write your own report, so you know exactly what was said.
 

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I usually get off work at 2am. I've only been pulled over once after work (was driving slow as I didn't feel well and the timing was the end of bar rush). If you head home at about the same time every night the officers who're on duty will get to recognize your vehicle as a local. They may not know who you are but since they see you most work nights they learn. I used to suspect this but after a couple of nights chatting with a local officer at 2:30am in my driveway (after my garage was broken into) I confirmed this.

Steelheart
 
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