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  • ID checks at bars

    Say you do a bar check. You see someone who looks underage. You ask them for their id. They refuse.

    What if any legal authority do we have to get their id. Fail to id wont fly since they are not under arrest and they did not lie about their info.

    I have been looking all over for a section that says we can ID people in a bar to check to see if they are of age.

  • #2
    Reasonable suspicion, maybe. If you believe they are about to, are committing or have committed a crime, in this case minor in consumption, you can detain them. If they refuse to give you their ID or information, tell them you are going to take them to get finger printed to figure out their identity. That will usually get them to give you their info.

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    • #3
      I don't think you can request a valid form of ID. If I remember correctly TABC doesn't require a patron to show ID to enter or drink at a bar, it's mostly bar policy. If they are drinking you can id for MIP/consumption if pc is there, if they are just jerks you could work with the bar staff and "recommend" that they kick 'em out, lol. After something like that bars won't want the headache. Good question.

      Sorry if my post is hard to follow, I'm falling asleep as I type.

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      • #4
        You're talking about something to charge them with if they refuse to identify themselves?

        Well.. you could just charge them with Consumption of Alcohol By Minor. If they look underage, they're consuming alcohol, and they refuse to identify themselves so you can ascertain their age.. I think that's enough PC for a ticket/arrest. If they continue to refuse to i.d after you tell them they're under arrest/being cited, you could charge them with Failure to Identify as well. Then if they finally do produce an i.d. that shows them to be 21 or older, you can always "un-arrest" them.

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        • #5
          The right to drink is not absolute; it is conditional and regulated by law. If someone appears to be underage, it is reasonable to check their ID to verify that they are in compliance with the law. Failure to ID will get you hooked for Obstruction of Official Business.

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          • #6
            Just as I have stopped drivers appearing too young to be licensed, so can you have drinkers identify themselves to you if you have reasonable suspicion to believe they are too young to drink. Simple articulation. If they fail to identify themselves to you, detain and/or arrest accordingly.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ftttu View Post
              Just as I have stopped drivers appearing too young to be licensed, so can you have drinkers identify themselves to you if you have reasonable suspicion to believe they are too young to drink. Simple articulation. If they fail to identify themselves to you, detain and/or arrest accordingly.
              And what would the charge be? Its not illegal to look young.

              Say i see a young looking person at a bar. I ask for their id (which i can legally do) they refuse. According to our fail to id laws, they dont have to give it to me since they aren't under arrest. I don't have a law violation in my presence that i can prove.


              So what do i arrest for? Say i arrest and find her id from search incident to arrest and they are 23. Then what?

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              • #8
                Tmg, reasonable suspicion gives you the authority to detain a person if they are suspected of a crime. Once you have determined that they have not, are not, or aren't about to commit a crime, you can no longer legally detain that person. You don't have to have PC to detain somebody.

                From what I understand, you can also pull a vehicle over for reasonable suspicion. I wouldn't do it for drug busts. However, if you see a vehicle leaving a closed business that has been burglarized before, or is in an area where there are frequent burglaries, you have reasonable suspicion to stop it.

                Another way to go about it is if they do not want to ID themselves at a bar, chances are they are intoxicated. If you can articulate how they are a danger to themselves or others, you can arrest the for public intoxication and either get their ID that way or charge with fail to ID.
                Last edited by dgtx42; 10-26-2014, 12:27 AM.

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                • #9
                  You can't force an arrest is there's nothing there, sometimes you just have to let someone go and get him another time. You can detain her to conduct your MIP/Consumption/PI investigation until you ascertain her true identify. I'm sure you'll get her info if you dig deeper and she starts getting impatient or embarrassed. If she only gives you verbal then make some calls and research her. PI, Disorderly Conduct, or some local ordinance are some options if you can articulate your PC.

                  Important factors:

                  Was she in "possession" of alcohol or had signs that she's been drinking?
                  Did she tell you her name, dob, address or simply refused to tell or show you?
                  If she did give you verbal do you have reason to believe that she's lying, e.g. trying to remember DOB or laughing?
                  If she giving you a hard time, other than not presenting a form of ID?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tmg View Post
                    And what would the charge be? Its not illegal to look young.

                    Say i see a young looking person at a bar. I ask for their id (which i can legally do) they refuse. According to our fail to id laws, they dont have to give it to me since they aren't under arrest. I don't have a law violation in my presence that i can prove.


                    So what do i arrest for? Say i arrest and find her id from search incident to arrest and they are 23. Then what?
                    Basic police work. If something doesn't look right, investigate it. If you can articulate your belief something may be illegal, then you can stop and detain.

                    There are age restrictions in our society for certain things. Driving and drinking are a couple of biggies. If I see a driver who looks too young, I can stop and detain them if they appear too young to be licensed to drive. Same thing with a minor in possession and/or consuming an illicit beverage.

                    As you said, it isn't illegal to look young, but it does give officers something to articulate their detention. If someone I detain for minor in possession/consumption wants to play stupid and not identify themself to a point I need to make a good decision, I may put it on the bar/nightclub to make the determination. I'm sure they don't want to lose their license or permit or risk arrest for providing alcohol to a minor. I pretty much know which battles to fight after 23 years on the street.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Also, to be more specific, you can arrest if you want to push it. You just have to work the case from reasonable suspicion to probable cause. Your legal detention of an apparent minor consuming/possessing an illicit beverage gives you the reasonable amount of time for your investigation to determine one way or another.

                      We have huge desert bonfires where I work, and we have to make these determinations on a regular basis. We drive up on these parties with sometimes up to 200 or more apparent minors. Due to manpower, many times we just clear them out, but other times, we have enough to where we can deal with each kid.

                      If someone wants to get stupid and not want to identify themself to ease our suspicion, we can arrest.........if our ADA wants to take the case. Before we had the ADA making the arrest decision, it was entirely placed upon the individual officer. Failure to Identify is such an easy arrest since it is for detention and arrest.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tmg View Post
                        And what would the charge be? Its not illegal to look young.
                        I think you could arrest for Consumption of Alcohol by Minor. It's not illegal to "look drunk" and be driving. Yet we can still make an arrest without a BrAC. I think you could articulate an arrest based on them looking under 21, consuming alcohol, and refusing to identify themselves.
                        So what do i arrest for? Say i arrest and find her id from search incident to arrest and they are 23. Then what?Then let her go. If you made a good faith arrest believing she was under 21, I don't think it should be a problem.

                        But I think the best advice if you ever ran into this situation would be this one:
                        Originally posted by ManoloQ View Post
                        I If they are drinking you can id for MIP/consumption if pc is there, if they are just jerks you could work with the bar staff and "recommend" that they kick 'em out, lol. After something like that bars won't want the headache. Good question.
                        I guarantee you the bar staff would throw her out the door before she even knew what happened. TABC rules with an iron fist.

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                        • #13
                          So I make a traffic stop on a vehicle solely because I think, articulate, believe, that the driver is under the legal age to drive. I make the stop and he/she has 6 pounds of Meth in the car and is a 3rd time felon on probation for trafficking.

                          Do you want to be that guy who has to explain this? I can show, tell, articulate and provide pictures to anyone that asks, people who look 12 that are actually 25.

                          If you can't get a rock solid stop that will hold up in court, why put yourself in a position to be laughed out of court? I'd rather let 1,000 go than get 1 bad one that puts into question my work!!
                          "If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by K9krazy21 View Post
                            So I make a traffic stop on a vehicle solely because I think, articulate, believe, that the driver is under the legal age to drive. I make the stop and he/she has 6 pounds of Meth in the car and is a 3rd time felon on probation for trafficking.

                            Do you want to be that guy who has to explain this? I can show, tell, articulate and provide pictures to anyone that asks, people who look 12 that are actually 25.

                            If you can't get a rock solid stop that will hold up in court, why put yourself in a position to be laughed out of court? I'd rather let 1,000 go than get 1 bad one that puts into question my work!!


                            Sure I would. All you need is reasonable suspicion -- you don't need "rock solid."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by K9krazy21 View Post
                              So I make a traffic stop on a vehicle solely because I think, articulate, believe, that the driver is under the legal age to drive. I make the stop and he/she has 6 pounds of Meth in the car and is a 3rd time felon on probation for trafficking.

                              Do you want to be that guy who has to explain this? I can show, tell, articulate and provide pictures to anyone that asks, people who look 12 that are actually 25.

                              If you can't get a rock solid stop that will hold up in court, why put yourself in a position to be laughed out of court? I'd rather let 1,000 go than get 1 bad one that puts into question my work!!
                              I'm sure you know the traffic code says you can stop to check for a driver license. That is why we can do stationary vehicle checks to check for that and insurance. It is a cruddy way to get dope, but if you can articulate the reason why an agent of the government would stop and detain a freedom loving member of our society, then all is good with the world.

                              This is everyday police work, guys. We are paid to be suspicious and to investigate to the point we're not suspicious anymore. The law gives us the ability to stop and detain people for this reason.

                              Comment

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