posted on Nov, 30 2009 @ 10:23 AM
Though I don't disagree with the larger message, I don't think your personal account really supports that.
I know I, personally, if I had a tail light out, even after being informed, wouldn't be too keen on replacing it without consequences. The
warning/ticket is a great motivator to spend the $5 on a new bulb instead of the $25 on a ticket!
As to the other questions, police are trained to search for illegal activity. It used to be that, if a cop pulled you over for a broken taillight, he
could search your car on a whim. That is now illegal without probable cause, and even if the cop found 100 pounds of plastic explosives, 50 kgs of
coc aine and enough small arms to invade Panama, you would walk free because the evidence would be inadmissible.
To get around that, they ask you questions and weigh your responses. They want to keep you talking to see if you're slurring your words. They want to
check to make sure you and your car are legal to drive (since they do have probable cause to believe you are driving your car
). They want to see
if you get abnormally angry (could imply inebriation on alcohol or other drugs), etc.
You don't have to answer the questions (you do need to provide the drivers license and proof of insurance), but they can make the whole experience
take a lot longer if you don't.
So, really, that story demonstrates a lessening of a police state. There was a cop that would sit on 90/94 about 10 or 15 years ago and pull over
anyone who looked of college age with an air freshener hanging from their rear view mirror (called it a sight obstruction). Then he would search their
car and persons for drugs. (Guy was a jagbag... My family had many encounters with him coming back to Illinois after an annual th of July
celebration!) Now, he couldn't do that, and instead just has to ask questions and search for tells that a judge would find admissible as probable