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Checkpoints and probably cause

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  • Checkpoints and probably cause

    A few months ago I was driving home after a date, around 12:30am. The police were running a checkpoint and stopping every car. I had my license and registration ready as the officer came to my window and handed it to her without speaking. She then asked me, "have you had anything to drink tonight?" I simply said, "no" based on the assumption that any other answer would result in me being detained, tested and probably being searched (car and person). The fact was that I had had something to drink earlier in the evening, but it had only been a few glasses of wine and it was several hours prior, so I was pretty confident that my BAC would've been .02 at worst. Apparently that was the correct answer for that moment as she then sent me on my way.

    So my questions are concerning our little question and answer session. Would answering "yes" have been considered probable cause to detain and test? If it were somehow discovered that I had consumed some alcohol that evening, would answering "no" have been an offense in and of itself (providing false information)? Answering "yes" could also have been used as evidence against me if things had somehow gone south at that stop, so I think the question is very loaded––they're asking your to give the probable cause and provide evidence against yourself. I realize that I was not obligated to say anything at all, but that would probably have drawn more attention than anything I could have done. Is there any response that I could give that would not be false, incriminating, or seen as being resistant? Please explain the intricacies of answering such questions. What's the best way to handle it from the driver's perspective (assuming that being detained is not a desirable outcome)?

    State is Virginia.
    Last edited by salparadise; 01-31-2014, 10:44 AM.

  • #2
    Don't drink and drive ever and you won't have this dilemma.

    Comment


    • #3
      What is Probably Cause?

      And never drive with a BAC over .00... any BAC over that is Driving under the Influence.
      The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

      I Am the Sheepdog.


      "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
      that we are all that stands between
      the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jchughes05 View Post
        What is Probably Cause?

        And never drive with a BAC over .00... any BAC over that is Driving under the Influence.
        Probably cause is what you have when you don't have probable cause. Duh.

        Comment


        • #5
          Driver: "Why'd you stop me?"
          Officer: "Probably Cause yer drunk!"
          The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

          I Am the Sheepdog.


          "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
          that we are all that stands between
          the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            If you had said yes, you probably would have been subjected to a quick field sobriety test and possible portable breathalyzer to determine if you were safe to be on the road with the law abiding citizens and children. It would have been inconvenient to you, but hey - that's something the state probably has you agree to when to receive the privilege to drive on roads (around here, its the implied consent law).

            If you had said no, and were actually impaired - got a mile down the road and crashed into a suv with a family on their way home from taking their kids to the movies, you would have been - how do you say it? Up Shyte Creek without a paddle.

            Another thing you should probably think about -- YOU can not effectively "judge" your BAC. You have NO CLUE how impaired you are. How many people have ever said to an officer "yeah, I'm drunk." ??? No one ever drinks more than 2, it's always been 2 hours ago, and they are always quite confident they are not over .02 BAC. Why do people think 2 is some magic number????

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Michigan View Post
              Don't drink and drive ever and you won't have this dilemma.
              Originally posted by jchughes05 View Post
              And never drive with a BAC over .00... any BAC over that is Driving under the Influence.
              Obviously. I rarely drink, much less drink and then drive. I have called in drunk drivers several times because I do take the threat to public safety seriously. However, I was not doing anything illegal that night and I'm not interested in the prosthelytizing. I would appreciate hearing some well considered opinions that address the questions asked. Thank you.

              Comment


              • #8
                I am waiting for PhillipCal to give us his "you don't dictate the answers" speech... I love it.

                Having a .02 BAC or more IS illegal, and could result in, well, you know.
                The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

                I Am the Sheepdog.


                "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
                that we are all that stands between
                the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


                sigpic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by salparadise View Post
                  Obviously. I rarely drink, much less drink and then drive. I have called in drunk drivers several times because I do take the threat to public safety seriously. However, I was not doing anything illegal that night and I'm not interested in the prosthelytizing. I would appreciate hearing some well considered opinions that address the questions asked. Thank you.
                  I would appreciate a bj while I watch the Super Bowl this Sunday. I'm not going to get what I want either if that makes you feel better.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by salparadise View Post
                    I simply said, "no" based on the assumption that any other answer would result in me being detained, tested and probably being searched (car and person). The fact was that I had had something to drink earlier in the evening,.
                    So, you lied to an investigating officer. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

                    Had that officer smelled ANY traces of an alcoholic beverage , you lying to her would have given her PROBABLE CAUSE (read that term several times) for further investigation.

                    I am sure your night would have not gone well. You got very, very, very lucky.


                    Originally posted by salparadise View Post
                    I would appreciate hearing some well considered opinions that address the questions asked. Thank you.
                    On this form , you get the answers you get........................you don't get to dictate what those answers will be
                    Last edited by Iowa #1603; 01-31-2014, 10:29 AM.
                    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by salparadise View Post
                      I would appreciate hearing some well considered opinions that address the questions asked. Thank you.
                      Here is a well considered opinion -

                      If you don't like how we answer your questions, head over to Mamby Pamby Land where you can have your feelings stroked by a cuddly little panda in a puppy suit, you jackwagon. We answer questions the way WE want. Don't care for that? There is a little X in the top corner of your screen that effectively acts as the door right back outta here.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Shush View Post
                        Here is a well considered opinion - If you don't like how we answer your questions...
                        Yea, I'm beginning to understand that this is not a friendly environment for regular citizens and that there are likely few officers willing to engage in a reasonable conversation lest they provoke the ire of those who apparently lay in wait for someone like me to show up and ask a question or two. I would like to believe that this antagonistic attitude is not representative of most police officers.

                        I do appreciate the responses from the officers, and I understand that you all have a different perspective based on all the drunks that you have to deal with and the consequences of drunk driving. But I am being completely truthful with regard to the low BAC; three drinks, three hours prior which is probably even less than my initial estimate.
                        Last edited by salparadise; 01-31-2014, 12:13 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh, this is definitely getting tagged. Just in time for the weekend ( not that I have a weekend of course).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It's because we hear these questions and their related responses on a daily basis, and also because you admitted to lying to a police officer.

                            It's always "2 beers" or that they won't blow above .01, but it's usually in the .20s.... In dealing with us and asking us questions, you need to have thicker skin and understand that we hear this about 100x a week.

                            It's not meant as an insult, but we do take this stuff seriously, like driving with a BAC over .00. And of course, lying to police.
                            The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, cannot and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheepdog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed.

                            I Am the Sheepdog.


                            "And maybe just remind the few, if ill of us they speak,
                            that we are all that stands between
                            the monsters and the weak." - Michael Marks


                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jchughes05 View Post
                              It's not meant as an insult, but we do take this stuff seriously, like driving with a BAC over .00. And of course, lying to police.
                              BINGO!

                              Plus, we get these questions that are common sense questions, people asking police what is right and what is wrong. Drinking and driving = wrong. Lying to the police = wrong. No one should have to ask for personal validation on either of those two points. More times than not, these silly questions are the result of losing a personal "debate" over it, so the people come here to get validation for their own point so they can go back to their buddy and say "see here? the cops agree with me" -- then they get their panties all twisted when we don't.

                              Let's go back to your question -

                              Is there any response that I could give that would not be false, incriminating, or seen as being resistant? Please explain the intricacies of answering such questions. What's the best way to handle it from the driver's perspective (assuming that being detained is not a desirable outcome)?
                              The question - "have you had anything to drink tonight?" is a yes/no question. You are asking a group of police officers to tell you a "lawyer answer" that you can give next time that will (a) not be a lie, and (b) not be probable cause for further investigation.

                              SERIOUSLY? You want us to tell you how to avoid questioning if you answer a question truthfully when you know it could cause you a little time? This is definitely a common sense fail.

                              (edit) after thinking about this, I decided I was a bit harsh, and decided to answer your question and help you out.

                              Next time you are stopped at a road block or traffic stop, and are asked if you've been drinking - just mutter this phrase --"yes I have, but I am a citizen of Nagorno-Karabakh, here on a diplomatic mission, and I have diplomatic immunity. Thank you and have a good day." Then drive off. You MUST say the country of Nagorno-Karabakh -- that's the key. It will immediately make law enforcement back off and send you on your way.

                              Comment

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