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A simple burned out headlight was a lesson to me on how easy police can violate our rights.

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posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:26 AM
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Late last night, on my return from dropping my sister off to catch a flight in Canada I was pulled over by a police officer for a burned out headlight. A quick background on what started this encounter. My wife and sister-in-law get very nervous when I exceed 60mph, or when trucks pass me on the U.S. interstates. They also get nervous when I drive over high bridges. So to keep them from constantly nagging me, I decided to save a few dollars on interstate tolls and take an older two-way highway home to help calm down their anxiety. As everyone is aware, speed limits reduce when highways approach small towns. I was minding the speed limits in town, but occasionally I would exceed the speed limits outside of town by about 5 or 10mph.

As I was driving outside of a small town that I had just drove through, I immediately noticed the lights of a squad car in my rear view mirror. A feeling of disgust overwhelmed me and I looked at my wife thinking I must have been speeding. I said well this trip is going to cost me more than what I expected! (Of course my wife and sister-in-law started laying a guilt trip on me about driving too fast, lol).

A polite young office approached my rolled down driver’s side window as I presented him with my driver’s license. Before he said anything, I politely said, “officer I must have been exceeding the speed limit.” He politely said oh no, the reason I pulled you over was because you had a burned out headlight on the passenger side of your van. A feeling of relief overcame me and I said, “really, I wasn’t aware of that.” I told him we were approximately an hour away from home and asked if there was any suggestions I should do since it was late at night. He told me “no not really, but you know you can be pulled over again for your light being out.”

Now here is where I feel he infringed on my rights. He then says, “sir have you had any drinks tonight” and I immediately said no, not at all. He then says, did you do any drinking earlier in the day?” My wife immediately interceded and says “officer, my husband and I are not drinkers.” (My wife and I don’t even keep beer or booze in our house! I may have an occasional beer when I’m out with friends, but that’s about it. There was no smell of booze on me or in our van.

I believe he stepped over the line with that type of questioning. My wife who has always supported the police says to me after he lets us proceed, “that wasn’t right that he asked you if you were drinking let alone asking you if you had any drinks earlier in the day.” You certainly were not driving erratically. I was pulled over for a burned out headlight, yet he was fishing to slap me with a DUI!!! Sure sounds like police are really over-stepping their authority and care more about meeting their ticket quotas.

What says you ATS?



+23 more 
posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:31 AM
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originally posted by: WeRpeons
Now here is where I feel he infringed on my rights. He then says, “sir have you had any drinks tonight” and I immediately said no, not at all. He then says, did you do any drinking earlier in the day?”


How did this infringe on your rights? It's a routine question. He can't hit you with DUI unless he can prove it, and by your own admission he took you at your word without even asking you to take a breath test. He never even accused you of DUI.

So what's the problem?



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:31 AM
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He didn't persue it when you said no?

Then no. I think it's a standard question on night time traffic stops.
He let the matter go without hassling you so I'd say he didn't over step his bounds.
You didn't say if he ticketed you for equipment violations. Did he?
edit on 9192016 by Sillyolme because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:32 AM
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I think it is a valid question particularly considering DUIs typically are at night. If all he did was ask and took you at your word, I don't know why you'd be upset.



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:33 AM
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Yeah this is pretty light.

Not sure why you'd be so bent out of shape about it.

Few years back my mom and I were doing some late night shopping at wal-mart and we were walking out the front with our paid for and bagged groceries when an off duty cop yelled at us to stop before we left, and demanded to see a receipt.

My mom was so #ing pissed it was hilarious. Yeah the guy was a douche but it didn't bother me much.
edit on 2016-09-19T11:35:32-05:002016Mon, 19 Sep 2016 11:35:32 -0500v000000322016-09-19T11:35:32-05:002016Mon, 19 Sep 2016 11:35:32 -0500Mon, 19 Sep 2016 11:35:32 -0500 by corvuscorrax because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:33 AM
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a reply to: WeRpeons

if you weren't drinking, no worries. if it was late, I fully understand. At midnight, the only folks on the road are cops and drunks. (generalizing a great deal, but it's closer to fact than fiction)

And never volunteer anything to a cop. Like "I must have been speeding", or "did you stop me because of that body in the trunk?", or "do you think this bag of weed is more than I'm allowed to have?"
Be polite, and speak when spoken to. (IMHO)



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:33 AM
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Which of your rights were violated?



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:34 AM
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a reply to: WeRpeons


]I was pulled over for a burned out headlight, yet he was fishing to slap me with a DUI!!! Sure sounds like police are really over-stepping their authority and care more about meeting their ticket quotas.

Its his job to 'fish'. Engaging you in conversation helps him identify slurred speech, evasiveness, nervousness, etc. Accusing you of something unwarranted is also how they gauge your demeanor.

Its just fishing, he didn't ask you to do any else, didn't make you exit, dance or blow... lol.

Good for you for not trying to tell him his job on scene either. SOP, on your way.

As an side, I would learn to tell if your lights are working before taking any road trips.... do a walk around.



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:35 AM
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a reply to: WeRpeons

Well? Did you even get a ticket or not?



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:35 AM
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a reply to: WeRpeons

It's standard police protocol in an attempt to curb drunk driving accidents and deaths. Sorry you got offended.



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:35 AM
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a reply to: WeRpeons

You can always respectfully decline to answer.

It could have been a whole lot worse, at least he didn't pull you put of the car and do a road side sobriety test.

The police have a whole lot of authority especially if they have no body/car cams.



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:37 AM
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He also ran your license plates and ID to see if you had any warrants or if the car was stolen.



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:38 AM
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Have to agree with others, he is able to ask that question without infringing any right. You didn't have to answer it, but he can ask away.



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:39 AM
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a reply to: WeRpeons



I've had similar situations happen when driving in a drug neighborhood in my old chevy. So he politely asked a couple of questions and didn't face plant your or your family onto the pavement or give you a ticket or shoot you?


So, what's the beef? You got your feelings hurt?



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:40 AM
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a reply to: WeRpeons

My wife goes through safty checks several times a month on her way home from work. The cops ask for license, insurance and if she's been drinking. That is no violation. It's late at night and a reasonable question.



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:40 AM
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You're kidding, right? Opps, did I just infringe on your 'rights'?
Where I come from, driving is not a right, rather it is a privilege, and as far as I know has always been a privilege.
And that is agreed upon when a potential driver takes the test to drive. So asking if you have been drinking and drinking and driving is a breach in your promise to abide by the standards you agreed to to use that privilege, is not an infringement on rights but checking to see if you have been abiding by your privileged status as a driver.



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:47 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

I got stopped at one of those holiday safety checkpoints a few years ago. It was a hassle and a thirty minute stop because there was a lot of traffic on that road. I worked late at my store and was on my way home.
They checked my directional signals, break lights, wipers, headlights were already on. They asked me where I was going and where I was coming from and they asked to see my license and insurance.
When they were through I thanked them for keeping the streets safe.
It's possible they saved a life or two.

PS I am not Kawrider9s wife lol.
edit on 9192016 by Sillyolme because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:48 AM
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Well... Being asked if you've had any drinks before being sent on your way with a warning is a far cry from being shot to death.
*White People Problems*



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:51 AM
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I have been pulled over both night and day for various things from speeding to tinted windows. I have noted that at night they always ask that question. During the day not so much. I believe you handled it correctly and maybe your thread is to serve as a lesson to be polite and respond like you and your wife did. I think that people who jump to accusations in the moment or become irate with the officers are those at risk of having "rights" issues. A lot of people know a lot about the law but really don't know much about procedure.



posted on Sep, 19 2016 @ 11:51 AM
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a reply to: Sillyolme




I got stopped at one of those holiday safety checkpoints a few years ago.


In Michigan it is unconstitutional to have theses check points, it went to our state supreme court.

I agree with our courts, the police shouldn't make mass stops.
edit on 19-9-2016 by seasonal because: (no reason given)




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