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  • checkpoint question

    I was on a roadtrip the other day, and noticed a checkpoint (it was on I75, entering or leaving Florida, I believe) The checkpoint was for agriculture/horticulture, and the signs directed all commercial, rental trucks, trailers, etc. into this checkpoint.

    My question is, If I were pulling my own personal trailer (it is a race car hauler) down the interstate, and entered the checkpoint, (don't remember the exact wording on the signs, but from what I interpreted from them, ALL trucks wre required to stop), would I be required to open the trailer for inspection?? It is my own personal vehicle. not commercial. I would think that I would have fouth amdmt. privledges, would I not? I don't beleive that implied consent is in efffect here, as I believe that it applies only at customs checkpoints, not interstate ones.

    Just wondering.. I certainly don't have anything to hide, but just not entirely clear on what my rights are, either thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by dc8driver View Post
    I was on a roadtrip the other day, and noticed a checkpoint (it was on I75, entering or leaving Florida, I believe) The checkpoint was for agriculture/horticulture, and the signs directed all commercial, rental trucks, trailers, etc. into this checkpoint.

    My question is, If I were pulling my own personal trailer (it is a race car hauler) down the interstate, and entered the checkpoint, (don't remember the exact wording on the signs, but from what I interpreted from them, ALL trucks wre required to stop), would I be required to open the trailer for inspection?? It is my own personal vehicle. not commercial. I would think that I would have fouth amdmt. privledges, would I not? I don't beleive that implied consent is in efffect here, as I believe that it applies only at customs checkpoints, not interstate ones.

    Just wondering.. I certainly don't have anything to hide, but just not entirely clear on what my rights are, either thanks
    I'm not going to enter into a lengthy or drawn out explanation of your rights in the situation you describe. Generally, you would be required to allow an inspection of your vehicle/trailer if the Officer requested it. The inspection is for the agricultural articles you referenced. Each year, I drive to California. Shortly after entering the state, I encounter an Agricultural Inspection Station. I don't recall it ever NOT being there. At these stations, all vehicles are subject to inspection, not only trucks. Certainly, you could refuse to have your vehicle inspected. Should you choose that option, be prepared to be there for awhile. The authority of the state(s) involved to inspect is well established in law.

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    • #3
      Pull over and ask the guys at the checkpoint.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by skigoggles View Post
        Pull over and ask the guys at the checkpoint.
        Simple as it sounds, it's really great advice. Often times, the Officer will wave you through the check point. However, if he requires you to stop, play the game. Chances are, you'll be on your way in no time.

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        • #5
          The Ag inspections are very important at keeping harmful pest's from being transported from state to state. Leaving Hawaii, at the airport, you have to go thru an Ag inspection. Nobody is exempt.

          I do a lot of boating at lake Mead, outside of LV, NV and have to pass thru the Ag inspection, on my way back to LA, I get flagged every time I'm going thru with my boat. Is it a pain in the butt, you bet. But I also know the importance of the inspection.

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          • #6
            I'm going to bet that with a large agricultural industry, Florida has enacted laws similar to California.

            Under California law, all plant material is quarantined and prohibited from importation into the state until it is inspected by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, The purpose is to prevent the introduction of agricultural pests that are common in other states and which could harm California's agricultural system. Food and Ag has a huge chart of what plants and seeds are prohibited, depending on the state they originated from. To this end, California has erected plant quarantine inspection stations along major highways at its borders to inspect arriving vehicles. Whether you get inspected usually depends on where you say you have been or what state your license plate is from. If you are coming from a quarantined state, odds are they will take a peek through you car looking for a rogue tomato or Mediterranean fruit fly.

            In California, It is unlawful for the operator of any vehicle to fail to stop at an inspection station or to willfully avoid an inspection station. It is also unlawful for the operator to fail to stop either upon demand of a clearly identified plant quarantine officer or upon demand of an officer of the California Highway Patrol, when the officer orders the operator to stop for the purpose of determining whether any quarantine which is established pursuant to any provision of this division is being violated. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor and grounds for the vehicle to be stopped for inspection.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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            • #7
              Back in 1989, I was helping a friend of mine drive his car out to Vegas where he was relocating. It was my and I believe his, first trip out west. While going through Arizona, we saw in the distance, in the middle of the desert, a very large what looked like a toll booth over the interstate. Road was deserted and this monstrosity loomed ahead of us for several miles. Closer we got, the larger it became. No where to go but right into it.

              We slowed down. My buddy was driving, I'm in the passenger seat. Neither one of us knew WTH this thing was. East coast boys not familiar with anything like it. Slowed down as we approached. Guy comes out with what looked like a US Park Ranger uniform. We stop in the sallyport still not knowing WTF was going on.

              Mr Ranger, very nice gentleman, politely asks in a combination Andy Griffith/Dennis Weaver twang "Good afternoon. Y'all have any fruits or nuts you want to declare?"



              Seriously thinking this was a joke of some sort, we start laughing. My buddy says "Yeah, I'm a fruit and he's a nut". He starts driving away slowly.

              HALT!!! HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!



              It suddenly dawned on our two dumbarses this was apparently not a joking matter. I now take note this is an armed Park Ranger. Full LEO.

              oops?

              Needless to say, Mr Ranger wasn't to thrilled with our reply. In no uncertain terms we are read the riot act to include the seriousness of such inspections and if we persisted in not taking this matter to heart, we could be there for a long time while the car was emptied out and subject to a search rivaling a body scan.

              Thank God for "Badge America" (never leave home without it); some quick sucking up apologies; and our tale of my buddy relocating to work for Vegas Metro PD (which was in fact the truth).

              My education regarding interstate commerce transportation enforcement was thus gained. So go ahead. Challenge the validity of such roadside inspections. Unless I ever plan on a career change requiring the transport of large quanities of contraband, I'll simply reply "Why go ahead....be my guest".
              sigpic
              Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun.
              And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PhilipCal View Post
                Simple as it sounds, it's really great advice. Often times, the Officer will wave you through the check point. However, if he requires you to stop, play the game. Chances are, you'll be on your way in no time.
                Right, and I didn't even say it to be sarcastic or smartassed.
                Each weigh station, port of entry, checkpoint will have different restrictions, regulations, guidelines etc etc.

                To the original poster: Regarding having a 4th ammendment right, if you do have to pull into one of the check points let them know that. Or you could just let them look and be on your way in 5 or so minutes. But hey, you know your rights and how to exercise them better than I do.

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                • #9
                  I am certain you can find the information you are seeking in this site:

                  http://www.fl-aglaw.com/bus/bus.html

                  Florida AgLAWS require you to stop and submit. A refusal to comply may result in action being taken that you will be less than happy with in the end.
                  Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                  [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by L-1 View Post
                    I'm going to bet that with a large agricultural industry, Florida has enacted laws similar to California.

                    Under California law, all plant material is quarantined and prohibited from importation into the state until it is inspected by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, The purpose is to prevent the introduction of agricultural pests that are common in other states and which could harm California's agricultural system. Food and Ag has a huge chart of what plants and seeds are prohibited, depending on the state they originated from. To this end, California has erected plant quarantine inspection stations along major highways at its borders to inspect arriving vehicles. Whether you get inspected usually depends on where you say you have been or what state your license plate is from. If you are coming from a quarantined state, odds are they will take a peek through you car looking for a rogue tomato or Mediterranean fruit fly.
                    Strange, Cali's Ag department seemed to leave Cannabis off that list of seeds and plants
                    sigpic
                    Let your watchword be duty, and know no other talisman of success than labor. Let honor be your guiding star in your dealing with your superiors, with your fellows, with all. Be as true to a trust reposed as the needle to the pole. Stand by the right even to the sacrifice of life itself, and learn that death is preferable to dishonor. ~ Gov. Richard Coke, October 4, 1876

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the replys, guys. I posted this question just for my own FYI. I guess my question is more of a legal one than traffic enforcement.

                      Like I said, nothing to hide, and I am aware of the importance of the need to keep our ecosystem balanced. (via ag inspections) Guess I didn't realize that states have the same rights to inspect you as the US customs and Immigration does as you enter the country.

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                      • #12
                        That is correct, nothing to hide. My question is a hypothetical one. I'm not saying I wouldn't consent to a search, I was trying to ascertain if I was obligated to open my vehicle.

                        Maybe you can help me answer my question better if I restate it in another context.

                        Consider the following scenario:
                        you happen upon an ag checpoint. Officer asks you if you mind if he looks in your trailer (private vehicle,not semi truck). You say go ahead. now he finds something deemed illegal, whatever it may be. If he presses charges against you, would the evidence be admissible? it was an ag insp. initially, but you consented to him looking, which (I think) would make anything and everything he finds fair game in court. Is this correct?

                        I hope you see where I'm going with this-in the above scenario, if the subject had NOT consented to the officer looking in his vehicle, would anything found in the vehicle that was illegal, but NOT associated with ag/horticulture be admissible in court??

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TexasAggieOfc View Post
                          Strange, Cali's Ag department seemed to leave Cannabis off that list of seeds and plants
                          That's 'cause the best marihoochie is grown in CA - it's an export product. Smuggling it in would be like importing beef to Texas, or bringing corn into Nebraska, or liberals to Massachusetts.
                          Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

                          I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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                          • #14
                            4th amendment doesnt apply on this situation in my opinion. I would deem these inspections 'random' so the 4th amendment doesnt apply. Just like if you go to the airport and they are conducting random vehicle inspections. It is posted that if you go further you are subject to search.

                            Whatever they find is fair game. You submitted to the search therefore everything is admissable.

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                            • #15
                              At a DUI/seatbelt/what ever they call it check point's the state has to put up several signs indicating check point ahead, with another route for a motorist to avoid the check point. I still don't know how LE catches any DUI's from the check points the motorist has many options to avoid these check point's.

                              At a check point, it still comes down to the officers observation of the driver and can the officer articulate the objective symptoms of a DUI driver. The motorist does not give up any of his 4th amendment rights by going through a check point.

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