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Driver license ? for you traffic boys


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  • Driver license ? for you traffic boys

    Im a rookie in patrol I've been looking in the transportation code where it says basically that I can pull some one over just to validate their license.

    Any clues where to look? I believe I've been throught it pretty thorough but still cant find.

    I know its a b.s. law/ probale cause to pull someone over but I got a hypothetical situation at work and it would help to know the validity of it.

    Thanks for your help,

    "If you want forgiveness go get some religion"

  • #2
    Perhaps this is what you're looking for?

    CRIMINAL PENALTY. (a) A person required to hold a license under
    Section 521.021 shall:
    (1) have in the person's possession while operating a
    motor vehicle the class of driver's license appropriate for the
    type of vehicle operated; and
    (2) display the license on the demand of a magistrate,
    court officer, or peace officer.
    (b) A peace officer may stop and detain a person operating a
    motor vehicle to determine if the person has a driver's license as
    required by this section.

    (c) A person who violates this section commits an offense.
    An offense under this subsection is a misdemeanor punishable by a
    fine not to exceed $200,
    Last edited by JSD73; 05-12-2007, 12:04 AM.
    Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat


    • #3
      The trooper that tought traffic law in my academy says he uses this all the time when he thinks a driver might be driving underage. Says he has cought all kinds of people with no DL this way.


      • #4
        I know 521.025 may seem to read otherwise, but I should mention that a traffic stop just to check a DL may be unconstitutional. It’s not a very clear area of the law; and different books give different answers.

        The trooper mentioned above probably had reasonable suspicion that a driver may not have DL because the driver looked so young. Reasonable suspicion should be enough to engage a traffic stop to check a DL.

        However, as you described, just stopping any car for a DL, without other facts, may not be OK. Please check with an ADA in your area. The Texas District & County Attorneys Association publishes a number of useful books on Texas criminal law, and one good book is called “Traffic Stops.”


        • #5
          If you make the stop be able to articulate why, not just because you can.

          If I see a person I know did not have a DL, or I think has revoked DL, or a suspended DL, then a check would be fine. The same if a person looks to young, or appears unqualified (young kid in a semi that just does not seem to drive right, but violated no laws).

          But hey you can fall back on TC661.004 if you stop the bikers and they argue it...


          • #6
            As far as I understand it, although the TRC states you can do still need PC to effect the stop...not just because. I think you can definitely be raked over the coals just going around willy nilly and checking on DL's
            Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat


            • #7

              Just wanted to say thanks for all the replies and yes JSD that does help

              for you other of course I would get enought fact/reasonable suspicion/probabl cause for the check.

              The reason I asked is I got a friend in patrol who is gonna have an IA investigation started on him for doing his job.

              Heres the situation if you guys wanna here some good stuff.

              We have a "certain neighborhood" where there is "certain" illegal activies, well my friend saw someone circling a certain house where they are known to sell "items" (can you tell Im having fun with this) after the driver failed to signal my friend initiated a traffic stop.

              A verbal consent for vehicle search was recieved. No drugs found but cited the driver for no DL and gave him warning on fail to signal, and instead of towing the vehicle mom came to pick it up.

              Thats when all the trouble started. she said there was no probale cause to search his vehicle even after he gave his verbal consent, she also said he was picking on him and cause of his race and some other good stuff.

              My friend then replied to her that techinally we could stop someone and check the DL.

              So long story short our chief (we are a small dept) tasked him with finding the law that says we can do that, cause he didnt believe that existed.

              Anyway I was trying to help fellow brother out.

              Thanks for your time guys.
              "If you want forgiveness go get some religion"


              • #8
                We as Peace Officers in the State Of Texas can stop any Commercial Motor Vehicle such as trucks on the interstate to check log books, weight, etc. That is what License and Weights with DPS, and some departments do. But just stopping a vehicle to see if the driver is licensed, hmmmm never done that. I believe that it might be pushing a little, and would lose any find in court.


                • #9
                  As stated in my last comment, I personally wouldnt use that to stop someone it was just something brought up in conversation. I would wait for something a little more solid before I pulled some over.
                  "If you want forgiveness go get some religion"


                  • #10
                    [QUOTE=Stat;875964]I know 521.025 may seem to read otherwise, but I should mention that a traffic stop just to check a DL may be unconstitutional. =QUOTE]

                    I asked my instructor about this when I was in the Academy. He told us that just pulling one person over to check for a DL is unconstitutional...i believe due to the fact that its a form of profiling. However, he told us that if you want to do this then pull 3 or 4 cars over at a time would be ok...then its just a check station.


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