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  • Inquiring if an individual is under the influence

    Quick Edit: Note the individual wasn't being held or charged for anything.

    There is a considerable story behind this question, I would like to say I didn't word it this way, perhaps more of a "conversation" then anything else but ended up receiving a bit of flack from others for saying something on the similar lines while questioning why someone was driving the way they were.

    Is it simply improper to ask such a question? The conversation with my fellow peers was based on self-incrimination. Is asking someone directly if they're committing a crime self-incriminating? I've been told it is better to ask questions around the subject instead of directly as it gives better grounds to administer a field test. Ultimately I'm mostly concerned how in the wrong I was as to learn from it.

    The individual in question was driving (in my opinion extremely) hazardously, couldn't answer a few very basic questions and their eyes appeared red and glossy -- along with being extremely argumentative and trying to push their luck constantly.

    Appreciate any input.
    Last edited by EricJ; 11-02-2009, 11:22 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by EricJ View Post
    Quick Edit: Note the individual wasn't being held or charged for anything.

    There is a considerable story behind this question, I would like to say I didn't word it this way, perhaps more of a "conversation" then anything else but ended up receiving a bit of flack from others for saying something on the similar lines while questioning why someone was driving the way they were.

    Is it simply improper to ask such a question? The conversation with my fellow peers was based on self-incrimination. Is asking someone directly if they're committing a crime self-incriminating? I've been told it is better to ask questions around the subject instead of directly as it gives better grounds to administer a field test. Ultimately I'm mostly concerned how in the wrong I was as to learn from it.

    The individual in question was driving (in my opinion extremely) hazardously, couldn't answer a few very basic questions and their eyes appeared red and glossy -- along with being extremely argumentative and trying to push their luck constantly.

    Appreciate any input.
    This isn't any sort of Miranda issue, no custody, no interrogation.
    You're free to ask anything you want.

    Is this specifically for someone under the influence of alcohol, or narcotics also? Is this during a traffic or ped stop?

    During a traffic stop, I assume some sort of driving pattern led you to initiate a stop on the vehicle for suspicion of DUI. Explain to the violator the reason for the stop, ask them if they knew they were driving that way. If they say yes, ask them why. Inquire about alcohol usage. If they hesitate to answer, whatever they say is a lie.

    I'm not sure what state you're in, do you have Pre-SFST questions you're supposed to ask prior to conducting an evaluation? In my book, "red and glossy eyes and argumentative behavior" based on my training and experience with alcohol, are signs of possible intoxication.

    Can you clarify a bit more on the story? Circumstances leading up to the stop, driving pattern, etc.
    Last edited by Blizzination; 11-02-2009, 11:49 PM.

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    • #3
      Yeah, I can ask you anything I want...I will 99% of the time already know the answer
      "I don't go on "I'maworthlesscumdumpster.com" and post negative **** about cum dumpsters."
      The Tick

      "Are you referring to the secret headquarters of a fictional crime fighter or penal complex slang for a-$$hole, anus or rectum?"
      sanitizer

      "and we all know you are a poser and a p*ssy.... "
      Bearcat357 to Dinner Portion/buck8/long relief

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      • #4
        I'll shoot you a message.

        Originally posted by Blizzination View Post
        This isn't any sort of Miranda issue, no custody, no interrogation.
        You're free to ask anything you want.

        Is this specifically for someone under the influence of alcohol, or narcotics also? Is this during a traffic or ped stop?

        During a traffic stop, I assume some sort of driving pattern led you to initiate a stop on the vehicle for suspicion of DUI. Explain to the violator the reason for the stop, ask them if they knew they were driving that way. If they say yes, ask them why. Inquire about alcohol usage. If they hesitate to answer, whatever they say is a lie.

        I'm not sure what state you're in, do you have Pre-SFST questions you're supposed to ask prior to conducting an evaluation? In my book, "red and glossy eyes and argumentative behavior" based on my training and experience with alcohol, are signs of possible intoxication.

        Can you clarify a bit more on the story? Circumstances leading up to the stop, driving pattern, etc.

        Comment


        • #5
          Self incrimination applies in a trial, not a street interview, and pertains to being compelled to answer, not voluntarily answering.
          I miss you, Dave.
          http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

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          • #6
            I knew of a couple of officers in a neighboring town that would pull into a gas station behind a car (who had left a bar) and approach the driver non chalantly and ask a couple of questions. It was not a traffic stop and a completely consensual encounter. It only took a minute or two to immediately notice indicators of impairment and off starts the DUI investigation (and normally subsequent arrest).
            I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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            • #7
              Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SgtScott31 View Post
                I knew of a couple of officers in a neighboring town that would pull into a gas station behind a car (who had left a bar) and approach the driver non chalantly and ask a couple of questions. It was not a traffic stop and a completely consensual encounter. It only took a minute or two to immediately notice indicators of impairment and off starts the DUI investigation (and normally subsequent arrest).

                way easier, way safer CYA wise to just learn your equipment violations and traffic laws.......just my two cents. "Sir I pulled you over because your tag is not properly lit"," holy crap your also trashed!" lol

                Comment


                • #9
                  We have it a lot easier as we, and other Australian states & territories, have legislation empowering us to intercept any vehicle or vessel to enforce relevant transport legislation and to ensure drivers and vehicles are complying with that legislation. This includes such things as random license checks, random vehicle safety checks, and random breath testing. A short and sweet answer is that we don't need to worry about probable cause or reasonable suspicion to intercept any vessel or motor vehicle.
                  If at first you don't succeed, remove all evidence of your attempt.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bushranger View Post
                    We have it a lot easier as we, and other Australian states & territories, have legislation empowering us to intercept any vehicle or vessel to enforce relevant transport legislation and to ensure drivers and vehicles are complying with that legislation. This includes such things as random license checks, random vehicle safety checks, and random breath testing. A short and sweet answer is that we don't need to worry about probable cause or reasonable suspicion to intercept any vessel or motor vehicle.
                    No offense but I think that's why most of us don't live in Australia.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by EricJ View Post
                      Quick Edit: Note the individual wasn't being held or charged for anything.

                      There is a considerable story behind this question, I would like to say I didn't word it this way, perhaps more of a "conversation" then anything else but ended up receiving a bit of flack from others for saying something on the similar lines while questioning why someone was driving the way they were.

                      Is it simply improper to ask such a question? The conversation with my fellow peers was based on self-incrimination. Is asking someone directly if they're committing a crime self-incriminating? I've been told it is better to ask questions around the subject instead of directly as it gives better grounds to administer a field test. Ultimately I'm mostly concerned how in the wrong I was as to learn from it.

                      The individual in question was driving (in my opinion extremely) hazardously, couldn't answer a few very basic questions and their eyes appeared red and glossy -- along with being extremely argumentative and trying to push their luck constantly.

                      Appreciate any input.
                      The most common mistake people make when it comes to questioning a person is when the rules for Miranda apply.

                      First you need custody. Custody means arrest where you are not physically free to leave. A traffic stop is not an arrest only a detention or color of authority stop.

                      Second you must be in an interrogation setting. Obviously it's hard to interrogate someone if they can just walk or drive away.

                      The courts have made lots of rulings of when and where we can ask questions so that we don't violate the rules. But if I pull someone over I can ask them questions all day long that could be self-incriminating. At the time of the question the only reason I have them stopped is for a traffic violation in which they are not going to be taken to jail. Therefore no custody, no Miranda.

                      Of course if someone says, "Yep, I'm drunk." I still have to prove that statement with facts.

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