10 Ways a Roadside Police Stop Can Go Wrong

What could happen—and what to do about it—if you get pulled over by the cops


"These days," Charles Glover's lawyers noted in a Supreme Court brief last year, "traffic safety is so pervasively regulated that it is difficult to drive on a regular basis without violating some law. When an officer observes an infraction—any infraction—he can initiate a traffic stop."

Glover was challenging the police practice of automatically stopping cars that are registered to drivers whose licenses have been suspended. While the assumption that the registered owner is behind the wheel might seem reasonable, it could prove to be wrong in the vast majority of cases, since those cars can be legally driven by relatives, friends, and neighbors. Condoning such traffic stops, as Kansas urged the justices to do in a case they heard last November, therefore would expose many drivers to the constant threat of police harassment even when they're doing nothing illegal.

The Court sided with Kansas in April, giving police one more excuse to stop drivers. But it's not as if they really needed one. State transportation codes include hundreds of rules governing the operation and maintenance of motor vehicles. Many of them are picayune (e.g., specifying acceptable tire wear, restricting window tints, and dictating the distance from an intersection at which a driver must signal a turn) or open to interpretation (e.g., mandating a "safe distance" between cars, requiring that cars be driven in a "reasonable and prudent" manner, and banning any windshield crack that "substantially obstructs the driver's clear view").

"The upshot of all this regulation," University of Toledo law professor David Harris observed in a 1998 George Washington Law Review article, "is that even the most cautious driver would find it virtually impossible to drive for even a short distance without violating some traffic law. A police officer willing to follow any driver for a few blocks would therefore always have probable cause to make a stop."

In the 1996 case Whren v. United States, the Supreme Court said such stops are consistent with the Fourth Amendment's ban on unreasonable searches and seizures even when the traffic violation is merely a pretext for investigating other matters. If an officer stops a car for a traffic violation in the hope of finding illegal drugs or seizable cash, for instance, that is perfectly constitutional, even without any evidence of criminal conduct. Thanks to Whren and other rulings, Harris concluded, "the Court has conferred upon the police nearly complete control over almost every car on the road and the people in it."

Once police stop you, a ticket is the least of your worries. Here is a guide to some of the roadside hazards created by giving cops the discretion to mess with just about anyone who dares to travel in an automobile.

1. You Might Lose Your License

Your license could be suspended following a traffic stop because your latest offense puts you above a specified number of points, because you were caught with marijuana or other illegal drugs (which triggers an automatic six-month suspension in Texas and a one-year suspension in Florida, for example), or because you declined to blow into a breathalyzer for a cop who thought you were drunk (which can earn you a six-month or one-year suspension, depending on the state). Your license also might be suspended for various reasons unrelated to traffic safety or even to driving, such as unpaid parking tickets or overdue child support. Once your license has been suspended, you will face fines or jail if you continue driving and happen to be stopped.

2. You Might Be Arrested

"In Texas," Dallas criminal defense attorney Paul Saputo warns on his website, "you can be arrested for almost any traffic violation—even minor traffic violations that are not punishable by jail time." Other states generally give police less authority to arrest drivers, but some classify minor traffic offenses, such as speeding, rolling stops, and failing to turn on your headlights, as misdemeanors, meaning they can result in an arrest.

While police usually issue citations for minor traffic offenses, the risk of arrest is not merely theoretical. The reform group Just Liberty estimates that more than 45,000 Texas drivers were arrested during traffic stops in 2016 for Class C misdemeanors—traffic and city ordinance violations that are typically handled with citations.

The Supreme Court approved such arrests in Atwater v. City of Lago Vista. That 2001 case involved a woman named Gail Atwater, who was arrested in 1997 after a Lago Vista, Texas, police officer, Bart Turek, saw her driving a pickup truck. She was unrestrained by a seat belt, and so were two young children sitting in the front seat.

Outraged by Atwater's negligence, Turek berated her, handcuffed her, and hauled her to the local police station, where officers forced her to remove her shoes, her jewelry, her eyeglasses, and the contents of her pockets before taking her mug shot. She was released on bail after spending an hour in a jail cell—all for an offense that at the time was punishable only by a fine of $25–$50.

In the majority opinion, Justice David Souter conceded that "the physical incidents of arrest were merely gratuitous humiliations imposed by a police officer who was (at best) exercising extremely poor judgment." The Court nevertheless concluded that arresting Atwater was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment, thus declining to establish a rule that it's unconstitutional to jail people for offenses that are not punishable by jail.

Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old woman, was pulled over in Prairie View, Texas, in 2015 for failing to signal a lane change. Thanks to Atwater, State Trooper Brian Encinia could have arrested her just for that. But what really ticked him off, dashcam and cellphone video of the incident showed, was her refusal to put out her cigarette, which prompted him to demand that she "get out of the car, now!" When she did not comply, Encinia forcibly removed her, tackled her, and arrested her for assaulting a police officer. Three days later, she committed suicide in jail.

Although Encinia was fired after that incident for violating the Texas Department of Public Safety's "procedures regarding traffic stops" and its "courtesy policy," he was on firm legal ground in demanding that Bland exit her car. In the 1977 case Pennsylvania v. Mimms, the Supreme Court said cops may order legally detained motorists out of their cars at will, based on general concerns about officer safety. Two decades later, the Court extended that rule from drivers to passengers in Maryland v. Wilson.

3. You Might Be Strip-Searched

While Gail Atwater's "gratuitous humiliations" did not include a strip search, that would have been OK too, judging from the Supreme Court's 2012 ruling in Florence v. County of Burlington. That case involved Albert Florence, who was arrested by a New Jersey state trooper during a routine traffic stop in 2005 based on an erroneous warrant involving a fine he had already paid. Florence endured strip searches at both the Burlington County Detention Center and the Essex County Correctional Facility, which struck him as unreasonable given the nature of his alleged offense.

The Court disagreed. In light of legitimate concerns about weapons and contraband, the majority said, it is reasonable for jails to strip-search all arrestees. The Court noted that "persons arrested for minor offenses may be among the detainees processed at these facilities," citing its decision in Atwater.

4. You Might Be Interrogated

"Officers will often engage you in casual conversation," says Steve Silverman, founder and executive director of Flex Your Rights, an organization that educates Americans about the constitutional issues raised by police encounters. "If they start asking you, 'Where are you going? Is there anything in your car that you shouldn't have?'—that's when the warning lights should go off in your head, to be ready to cut off that conversation. Always stay calm, stay cool. Say things like, 'Officer, I know you're just doing your job, but I'd really rather not answer any questions and be on my way, if that's OK.'"

Once friendly chitchat has morphed into a criminal investigation, most drivers probably will be keen to allay suspicion by being as cooperative as possible. But that approach may not always work out for the best, since it opens the door to inspections by drug-sniffing dogs and car searches that will prolong the stop and may prove embarrassing even if they turn up nothing incriminating.

Last year, the Oregon Supreme Court said this sort of fishing for evidence of a crime is not permissible under that state's constitution. "All investigative activities, including investigative inquiries, conducted during a traffic stop are part of an ongoing seizure and are subject to both subject-matter and durational limitations," it said. "Accordingly, an officer is limited to investigatory inquiries that are reasonably related to the purpose of the traffic stop or that have an independent constitutional justification."

Federal courts applying the Fourth Amendment generally have taken a more lenient approach, letting police ask whatever questions they want on the theory that drivers can always decline to answer. But the notion that such interactions are truly consensual is hard to take seriously given the intimidating power imbalance created when an armed agent of the state detains a driver.

5. Your Car Might Be Searched

The same goes for the consent that drivers supposedly give when officers ask to search their cars. A 2016 Cato Institute survey found that 80 percent of Americans understand they have a right to refuse such requests. But as Silverman notes, "it's challenging" to assert that right.

"The initial friendly chat helps put the driver in the frame of mind of responding to the trooper on a friendly basis, making cooperation and the giving of consent more likely," Harris noted in his 1998 George Washington Law Review article. "And it usually works. Whether out of a desire to help, fear, intimidation, or a belief that they cannot refuse, most people consent."

Drivers who have just denied that there is anything illegal in their cars may worry that refusing permission for a search will look suspicious. But the general pattern of compliance is especially striking in cases where someone allows a search that he knows will discover illegal drugs. Why would anyone in his right mind agree to a search, knowing it will result in his arrest, if he truly believes he is free to refuse?

Even while maintaining the fiction that such searches are voluntary, the Supreme Court has rejected the idea that police should have to inform people that they have a right to say no. In the 1996 case Ohio v. Robinette, the Court deemed such a rule "unrealistic" even when the original purpose of a traffic stop has been accomplished and the driver is theoretically free to go.

In that case, Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy Roger Newsome stopped Robert Robinette for speeding and, after giving him a warning, added a Columbo-esque query: "One question before you get gone: Are you carrying any illegal contraband in your car? Any weapons of any kind, drugs, anything like that?"

Robinette said no, which was predictably followed by Newsome's request to search his car. Robinette "consented," even though he had marijuana and an MDMA tablet in the car, which led to his arrest. In the Supreme Court's view, Robinette should have understood that he was no longer being detained after he got the warning for speeding, meaning he was under no obligation to stick around, let alone allow a search he knew would send him to jail.

Even if a constitutionally savvy driver says no to a car search, that need not be the end of the matter if a drug-detecting dog is available. The Supreme Court has said that deploying a canine narc does not count as a search and therefore requires no special justification.

The Court has approved the use of such dogs during routine traffic stops, provided it does not "unreasonably" prolong the driver's detention. And the Court has said an alert by a properly trained dog is enough to provide probable cause for a search, notwithstanding substantial evidence that such alerts are often erroneous, imagined, invented, or triggered by the handler's subconscious cues. In practice, these rulings mean that when a driver declines to allow a search, an officer can still get permission from a dog.

6. You Might Be Incriminated by a Bogus Drug Test

Dogs are not the only technology that police can use to implicate you in a drug offense. Drug field tests can magically turn sugar into methamphetamine and soap into cocaine.

On a Friday afternoon in December 2015, Cpl. Shelby Riggs-Hopkins, an Orlando officer, stopped Daniel Rushing after he picked up a friend at the 7-Eleven where she worked. The official reason: Rushing failed to make a complete stop while leaving the convenience store parking lot and subsequently exceeded the speed limit. The real reason: Riggs-Hopkins erroneously suspected him of involvement in "drug activity."

After pulling Rushing over, the eagle-eyed, street-savvy cop "observed in plain view a rock-like substance" on the floor of the car. She reported that she "recognized, through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer, the substance to be some sort of narcotic." Rushing "stated that the substance is sugar from a Krispy Kreme Donut that he ate," but Riggs-Hopkins knew better: Two field tests gave "a positive indication for the presence of amphetamines."

Rushing made bail and was released after 10 hours in jail. Three days later, after a lab test found no illegal substance in the evidence collected by Riggs-Hopkins, the charges against Rushing were dropped. (The lab test was not specific enough to identify which brand of donut the glaze came from.)

Alexander Bernstein and Annadel Cruz, who were riding in a rented Mercedes-Benz driven by Cruz when a Pennsylvania state trooper pulled the car over in 2013, were not so lucky. The official reason for the stop: Cruz was driving five miles per hour above the speed limit and hugged the side of the lane for half a mile. A more plausible reason: The sight of a young Latina driving an expensive car made the trooper's heart leap at the thought of finding contraband or seizable cash.

A search of the trunk (totally consensual, of course) discovered "two brick-size packages…covered in clear plastic wrap and red tape." They contained a white powder and together weighed a bit more than five pounds. After a field test supposedly showed that the powder was cocaine, Bernstein and Cruz were arrested. They spent a month in jail because they could not afford bail, which was initially set at $500,000 and $250,000, respectively. Lehigh County prosecutors dropped the cocaine charges after a lab test confirmed that the white powder was homemade soap, as Cruz had said all along.

Experiments have shown that commonly used drug field tests provide false positives for a wide variety of legal substances. Cops who fail to follow directions or misinterpret results also contribute to the problem.

Although these tests generally are not admissible in court, they are used to justify arrests, obtain search warrants, and pressure defendants into plea deals. Based on a 2016 investigation of cases in Harris County, Texas, ProPublica reporters Ryan Gabrielson and Topher Sanders estimated that incorrect field test results have led to "thousands of wrongful drug convictions."

7. You Might Have To Prove Your Sobriety

Given the "substantial government interest" in catching drunk drivers, the Supreme Court ruled in the 1990 case Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz, the "minimal" intrusion entailed by sobriety checkpoints at which cars are randomly stopped for that purpose is consistent with the Fourth Amendment. Under the program challenged in that case, each driver was "briefly examined for signs of intoxication." If police suspected a driver was drunk, he "would be directed to a location out of the traffic flow where an officer would check the motorist's driver's license and car registration and, if warranted, conduct further sobriety tests."

The same thing can happen if you are stopped for a traffic violation and the officer perceives "signs of intoxication." The standard field sobriety test consists of three parts: the walk-and-turn test, which requires you to take nine steps in a straight line, walking heel to toe, pivot, and do the same thing in the other direction; the one-leg stand test, which requires you to stand on one foot for 30 seconds while counting aloud (1,001, 1,002, etc.) until told to stop; and the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, which requires you to visually track a moving object such as a pen or flashlight while the officer looks for eye jerks that are characteristic of alcohol intoxication.

All this is pretty humiliating, especially if the officer was mistaken in thinking you were drunk. Furthermore, while the HGN test is well-validated as an indicator of alcohol consumption, performance on the other two tests varies from one individual to another, and some people do poorly even when they're perfectly sober.

Drivers generally are not legally required to participate in these sobriety tests. But if you refuse, the officer probably will ask you to blow into a breathalyzer. Every state has an "implied consent" law that imposes penalties on drivers who refuse to take breathalyzer tests.

While blood alcohol concentration corresponds pretty well to impairment, that is not true of THC blood levels. For that reason, relying on THC in the blood to define driving under the influence of marijuana, as 18 states do, irrationally and unfairly punishes cannabis consumers who were not actually intoxicated when they were pulled over. A dozen states have "zero tolerance" laws that equate any amount of THC with impairment, and nine of them also count inactive metabolites, which have no effect on driving ability, as conclusive evidence of driving under the influence.

Currently the leading alternative to that approach is a 12-step protocol administered by officers who are trained as "drug recognition experts" (DREs). While their findings are generally admissible in U.S. courts, some independent experts argue that the protocol, which includes an interview, vital sign measurements, eye examinations, and modified sobriety tests, has never been properly validated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which helped develop the DRE curriculum, says "there are currently no evidence-based methods to detect marijuana-impaired driving." The agency is sponsoring research aimed at filling that gap.

8. You Might Be Robbed

Thanks to civil asset forfeiture laws, police have a license to steal cash they come across during a traffic stop by alleging that it is connected to illegal drug activity. Once the cash is seized, the owner bears the burden of challenging the forfeiture, a process that often costs more money than the cops took. "Generally," Silverman says, "they won't reach into your wallet and pull $40 or $100 out. But if they find a stack, or a wad of cash, in a lot of jurisdictions, they're going to snatch that."

The experience of William Davis and John Newmerzhycky, Californians who were stopped by Iowa state troopers in 2013 while returning home from a World Series of Poker event in Joliet, Illinois, was unusual because of the size of the heist and because they ultimately got their money back. But the circumstances were otherwise pretty typical.

Trooper Justin Simmons, who was part of an "interdiction team" looking for contraband and money to seize, ostensibly stopped the two men because Newmerzhycky, who was driving, failed to signal properly as he passed another car. Simmons let Newmerzhycky off with a warning, meaning he was notionally free to go. But Simmons was not really done.

"Hey, John?" he said as Newmerzhycky started returning to his car. "Do you have time for a couple of questions? Do you have something illegal in the car?"

Things quickly went downhill from there. Newmerzhycky denied having any contraband; Simmons asked for permission to search the car; Newmerzhycky said no; Simmons summoned an officer with a drug-sniffing dog, which supposedly alerted to the trunk, justifying a search that turned up $100,000 in poker winnings; and the cops seized the money on the theory that large sums of cash are inherently suspicious.

Davis and Newmerzhycky challenged the forfeiture in federal court. More than three years after the seizure, the state settled the lawsuit by agreeing to return all of the money and pay the men another $50,000 for their trouble.

9. You Might Be Sexually Assaulted

After police in Deming, New Mexico, pulled David Eckert over for failing to stop completely at a stop sign in January 2013, he was forcibly subjected to two X-rays, two digital probes of his anus, three enemas, and a colonoscopy, none of which discovered the slightest trace of the drugs he was suspected of hiding inside himself. Adding insult to injury, the Gila Regional Medical Center, the hospital where these procedures were performed, charged Eckert $6,000 for its services. This degrading ordeal was authorized by a search warrant based on the following evidence: Eckert seemed nervous and stood "erect" with his legs together; a police dog supposedly alerted to the driver's seat of his pickup truck; and a detective claimed Eckert "was known to insert drugs into his anal cavity," which Eckert's lawyer said was a baseless rumor.

Another New Mexico man, Timothy Young, underwent a similarly rigorous search at the same hospital in October 2012 after Hidalgo County sheriff's deputies stopped him for failing to signal a turn. Like Eckert, Young was billed for his involuntary "treatment," which discovered no drugs. The same police dog, whose certification had lapsed, was involved in both cases.

At least the cops in New Mexico bothered to get a warrant. In 2015, the Texas legislature felt compelled to pass a law requiring police to obtain search warrants before probing the anuses or vaginas of drivers or passengers during traffic stops. Legislators were responding to a series of complaints from women who were subjected to warrantless (and fruitless) roadside cavity searches after state troopers stopped them for offenses such as speeding and littering.

10. You Might Be Killed

In 2017, a jury acquitted Jeronimo Yanez, the St. Anthony, Minnesota, police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile during a 2016 traffic stop, of second-degree manslaughter. But dashcam video of the encounter, which was released after the trial, shows that Yanez panicked and killed an innocent man who had calmly informed him that he was carrying a gun, which he was licensed to do.

Yanez officially stopped Castile because of a faulty brake light. But the real reason, the officer testified, was that he thought Castile resembled a robbery suspect: Both had dark skin, a wide nose, dreadlocks, and glasses.

Yanez never told Castile not to move, never told him to keep his hands in plain view, and never told him to put them on the dashboard. Instead he asked Castile for his driver's license, which Castile apparently was trying to retrieve when Yanez said, "Don't pull it out," referring to the handgun. "I'm not pulling it out," Castile assured Yanez. "He's not pulling it out," Castile's girlfriend, a passenger in the car, reiterated. At that point, Yanez freaked out, screaming, "Don't pull it out!" He immediately drew his pistol and fired seven rounds at Castile, who managed to say "I wasn't reaching for it" before he died.


While some of these scenarios are more likely than others, they all highlight the danger of letting police stop motorists more or less at will, using trivial traffic offenses as a pretext for investigations they otherwise would not be allowed to conduct. Drivers can try to shut down those investigations by politely asserting their rights, but that strategy may be psychologically difficult. It may also be risky, since the same officer who is seeking your cooperation is also deciding whether to let you off with a warning, write a ticket, or arrest you.

Silverman nevertheless hopes that people will consider the broader consequences of meek compliance. "The more people assert their rights," he says, "the more they are creating a sense that there are lines police should not cross."

Traffic Stops in Black and White

After the Oregon Supreme Court imposed new limits on police authority to grill drivers during routine traffic stops last year, Bobbin Singh of the Oregon Justice Resource Center called the decision "incredibly important for communities of color." While white drivers may assume that getting a ticket is the worst thing that can happen when they're pulled over for a traffic violation, Singh told Oregon Public Radio, "there's not really any expectation of where the limits are" when people with darker complexions find themselves in the same situation.

Research confirms the impression that racial minorities tend to be treated differently during traffic stops. A 2018 analysis of stops in Portland, Oregon, found that black drivers were subjected to discretionary searches 9 percent of the time, compared to a rate of 3 percent for white drivers.

Information collected by the Pennsylvania State Police reveals similar disparities. "Year after year," The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in January, "troopers were roughly two to three times more likely to search black or Hispanic drivers than white drivers." And when searches were conducted, "troopers were far less likely to find contraband" if the drivers were black or Hispanic rather than white, suggesting that the evidentiary threshold for searching blacks and Hispanics was lower.

Such differential treatment seems to be a nationwide phenomenon. In a 2017 analysis of data from 20 states, researchers at Stanford University found that "white drivers are searched in 2.0% of stops, compared to 3.5% of stops for black motorists and 3.8% for Hispanic motorists." After the researchers controlled for stop location, date and time, and driver age and gender, they calculated that "black and Hispanic drivers have approximately twice the odds of being searched relative to white drivers." They were also twice as likely to be arrested. The study found that "black and Hispanic drivers are searched on the basis of less evidence than white drivers, suggestive of bias in search decisions."

In a 2016 National Bureau of Economics paper, Harvard economist Roland Fryer analyzed information about police encounters from New York City's "stop and frisk" program, from a nationally representative survey of the general public, and from reports on incidents in which officers fired their weapons, based on records provided by law enforcement agencies in Austin, Dallas, Houston, six Florida counties, and Los Angeles County. Although he found no evidence of racial disparities in shootings, he reported that "blacks and Hispanics are more than fifty percent more likely to experience some form of force," such as grabbing, handcuffing, slapping, baton strikes, pepper spraying, and pushing to the ground or against a wall.

After surveying drivers in the Kansas City area in 2003 and 2004, Charles Epp and two other researchers at the University of Kansas classified police encounters based on the legal justification (or lack thereof) and the amount of discretion involved. They found that black drivers were no more likely than white drivers to report clear-cut "traffic safety stops" (e.g., for running a red light or stop sign, driving at night with headlights off, or exceeding the speed limit by seven or more miles an hour) but were nearly three times as likely to report seemingly pretextual "investigatory stops" (e.g., for an unilluminated license plate, driving too slowly, or no reason mentioned by the officer).

During investigatory stops, Epp and his colleagues reported, black drivers were five times as likely as white drivers to be searched. They were also more likely to be handcuffed and threatened with arrest, and more likely to describe the officer's demeanor as rude, hostile, or insulting. Blacks perceived investigatory stops as less legitimate than traffic safety stops, while whites made no such distinction. The more stops black drivers had experienced, the less they trusted the police, an effect that was not apparent among white drivers.

"Drivers are well aware of the profound racial disparities in police stops, and this awareness shapes perceptions of the police and their own place in society," Epps et al. write in their 2014 book Pulled Over. "Police stops confirm whites' common assumption that they are full citizens deserving respect and leniency; they teach African Americans that they are targets of suspicion."

NEXT: Justin Amash Drops Out of Presidential Race

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  1. Yeeesh…reads like a Rogue’s Gallery of bad cops. Do away with qualified immunity. Hello SCOTUS…?

    1. You have reached the SCOTUS qualified immunity information line. You call is very important to us. Please remain on the line and the first available Supreme Court Justice will CLICK

      1. You forgot “We are currently experiencing unusually high call volumes.”

        1. And if your call ever goes through, the “justice” who answers will have an Indian accent.

          1. Why is Palin’s Buttplug running around the thread pretending to be AmSoc?

            1. Because he got banned as Palin’s Buttplug for being a pedophile.

              1. Fuck you liar.

                You peanuts hate the Plug because he’s a classical liberal.

                1. He’s a dildo. That goes in your asshole. Pretty sure he’s got all the hepatitis’s.

                  1. He’s not a dildo. He’s a buttplug. Sure, basically the same thing, but with gender equality.

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      1. Wrong thread, moron.

        1. HAHAHAHAH NOPE!!!



          1. Ya, you totes got us. I cried for like 20 minutes.

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    3. “Do away with qualified immunity”

      No, do away with ALL immunity.

      And while we’re doing away with things, let’s kill off “implied consent” too.

    4. “qualified immunity needs to be abolished, period. It’s an invention of lobbying by “bad cop” FOP union bosses and allows them to get away with literal murder. I have witnessed and experienced several of the scenarios described in this article. In ANY conflict, the cops will win (even if you win at the moment, you will lose in the end because they and their cronies WILL get you. I happen to be legally blind and have been detained many times because of my staggering gait. I had one cop try to arrest me because my pupils didn’t react the way he wanted them to (I am profoundly blind in my right eye and have only 25% vision in my left. The right pupil in continuously dilated (“Oh, what drugs are you on?”) Ten years ago I lived in Maricopa County, AZ, home to the criminally convicted (but pardoned by Trump) of “Americas Sheriff Joe Arpaio. I am full Caucasian, but my skin tans immediately in the summer. A couple of his goons took me in one summer because I “looked darker than my license. I spent 72 hours in his “tent city jail” (habeas corpus LAW says you have to see a judge within three days). My fiance at the time brought my Passport down (I do a LOT of international travel) and he tried to release me. When I demanded my CONSTITUTIONALLY GUARANTEED “trial by a jury of my peers”, that asshat gave me 15 minutes to leave his jail property or he would charge me with criminal trespass. I couldn’t find a single attorney in the county to take him on, so I left. One summer in the early ’60s I was detained by CBP in Nogales trying to come home because they wouldn’t believe my license either. I would also recommend to anyone visiting Las Vegas that they deposit any winnings in a BAND before taking to the road. NEVER carry over $100 with you if you’re going to drive because the Nevada State police will have an “investigative stop” waiting for you on the road out of town.

  2. So wearing blackface while driving – good idea or not?

    1. I’m thinking it is a bad idea. Particularly if you do this riding on the People’s Republic of NJ Turnpike. Just ask former Governor Chistine Todd Whitman. 🙂

      1. How do you get the emojis to work? Any time I try to use an emoji, it just gets converted to question marks.

        1. And that, too, will get you pulled over.

        2. Just as well. Emojis are for teenage girls.

          1. Like, whatever, man. ????

            1. Nope, still didn’t work.

        3. Like this? 🙂

          1. Type these three characters without the spaces: “: – )”

            1. Thank you, sir. I take it those are the only three to which we have access?

              1. Don’t know. Some chat systems use emoji names after a “:”. Let’s try a few.


                1. Well, not those!

              2. somebody did a whole fucking list like 6 months ago it was pretty impressive

  3. 7. You Might Have To Prove Your Sobriety

    And don’t yawn in NJ. Driving while drowsy is illegal. Seriously.

    1. Didn’t a Kennedy get wasted on Ambien and side swipe a parked truck a few years ago. The Kennedys really need to avoid any sort of vehicle if they want to live a long life.

      1. Don’t Drive With Kennedy’s (DWK).

    2. I actually don’t have a problem with this. Drunk driving laws are written very poorly; its the not alcohol that’s the problem, its the impairment. Impairment can come from alcohol, drugs, or fatigue. I’m willing to bet everyone on this board has driven when they were way too tired to drive safely, myself included. Here is the dilemma: how do you objectively measure that impairment? I would worry more about a sober doctor coming off a 30 hour shift than a lifelong drunk who just drank a couple of beers.

      1. “Here is the dilemma: how do you objectively measure that impairment?”

        Ya, and that’s why you should worry about this. If it’s left to a subjective judgement by the officer/prosecution, it’s going to be arbitrarily enforced.

  4. You Might Lose Your License, Be Arrested, Strip-Searched, Interrogated, Your Car Might Be Searched, You Might Be Incriminated by a Bogus Drug Test, Might Have To Prove Your Sobriety, You Might Be Robbed, Be Sexually Assaulted or Be Killed.

    Practically better to stomp on the gas and roll the dice.

      1. He had a bulletproof bulldozer and a .50-caliber gun, and he only managed to wreak $7 million in damage? Amateur.

        On a related note: how pussified has our nation become that a single bulldozer laden down with concrete plates triggered such a panic that the state considered calling in Apache fucking helicopters? Whatever happened to have basic balls like the Polish resistance fighters who’d disable Soviet tanks by smearing the turret windows with peanut butter and dropping Molotov cocktails down the hatches?

        I swear I’m embarrassed to be an American sometimes.

        1. With respect to government payback, you can’t beat Timmy McVeigh.

        2. “He had a bulletproof bulldozer and a .50-caliber gun, and he only managed to wreak $7 million in damage? Amateur.”

          To be fair, this happened in a smallish town with a population of only just a bit over 2000. At $7mill in property damage, he probably flattened the entire town government.

          1. Still, he was such a formidable force that they were considering bringing in gunships to subdue him. He should have been able to singlehandedly level that town. Then again, it seems as though his attacks were targeted, so that doesn’t appear to have been his goal.

            1. Why would he level people’s homes / businesses when his dispute was with the town government? That whole mess started with a dispute over a zoning change for a lot adjacent to his welding shop.

              1. 1. Some of the local business owners were in on the property scam against Heemeyer.

                2. Some local residents with heavy equipment tried to stop Heemeyer from destroyer the City Hall and Police station.

                3. Sometimes voters are actively participating on violations of someone else’s rights along with the politicians. Why wouldn’t you punish them too? Tyranny through corrupt control of local government is still tyranny.

                1. 1. It wasn’t a scam against Heemeyer. They wanted to rezone a vacant property adjacent to his welding shop to allow a concrete making facility. Heemeyer opposed this because he used the vacant property as a shortcut to access his shop. He never owned the property in question and had no real right to this short cut.

                  2. So?

                  3. No evidence of that in this case. In any case there was no violation of Heemeyer’s rights before his rampage (see 1). If he had that level of a legitimate beef at most this would justify targeting specific individuals, not leveling the entire town.

            2. Gunships?


              Shit you need more than that. Well he did not have one of those things.

        3. I’d have tried a forest fire airdrop and try to choke the engine.

        4. “I swear I’m embarrassed to be an American sometimes.”

          Often. Off the top of my head, none of these abuses of power happen in Denmark, Switzerland, New Zealand etc… Americans have been deluded into thinking they still live in the land of the free. The founders would be so sad at the abuse all these SCOTUS decisions have done to their constitution. It’s in everyone’s interest to make sure only true libertarian judges make it to the supreme court.

        5. Only sometimes?

          This dysfunctional cesspool of a banana republic is a pox on the planet any more.

  5. Silverman nevertheless hopes that people will consider the broader consequences of meek compliance. “The more people assert their rights,” he says, “the more they are creating a sense that there are lines police should not cross.”

    Anything other than meek compliance is otherwise known as “disrespecting my authoritah” and asserting your rights is creating a sense you need a beat-down to learn your place, peasant. And judging by all the examples of bad shit that can happen given in the article, plus the ever-popular matter of “qualified immunity” (absolute impunity), and the court’s deference to the police in those examples, “asserting your rights” is liable to get you a harsh lesson in how you ain’t got no rights, merely privileges that the least of the King’s Men can revoke at will.

    1. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

      1. Six feet of it.

  6. “Issue a citation if you must sir. But if you have any questions, I’d like to have an attorney present. Am I under arrest? Am I free to go? I object to being detained.”


    1. >I object to being detained.
      I hope your anus is lubed for a baton.

    2. Sure, you can wait for an attorney in this disgusting drunk tank all weekend

  7. So all the problems can be traced to two interrelated issues; the war on drugs, and asset forfeiture before arrest.
    Seems like a one page bill could fix all of this up.
    And it would be easier than making everyone a middle age white guy.
    Another fun choice is to require all asset forfeitures go to the public defenders.

    1. Only victims, or their heirs or guardians, or hired representatives, may prosecute. Losers pay all associated costs. All parties create their own warrants, which must be relevant, minimal, and clear; and losing and abused warrants rebound on the author and executor.

      Eliminates all victimless crimes. Makes police abuse rebound on the police, personally. Discourages vexatious litigators.

      1. Right but what about you telling us you eat your own shit?

        1. Fuck off, Tulpa/Hihn.



    2. Being a middle aged white guy (well, middle aged if I live to be 140) didn’t help when Barney Fife pulled me over in small town Texas (Childress, a nothing town in the Panhandle whose only claim to fame is that US 287 runs through it). It was a windy day and I was on buckled concrete pavement driving an RV so it naturally was rocking a bit side to side. First words out of Barney’s mouth when he walked up to my window were “are these things hard to drive in the wind – looked like you were rocking?” – brilliant deduction asshole. I was in the right lane, under the speed limit, dead sober and fully licensed, registered, and insured. Turned out Barney had his faithful dog with him and after I refused consent to a search the dog “alerted” by sitting down. Long story short after an hour of wasted time he told me to “Have a nice day” and “Don’t be so nervous – that makes us nervous”. What’s to be nervous, two heavily armed people I don’t know have me locked in the back of a car while they search my vehicle for some reason to screw me over – who’d be nervous? BTW I think the real reason for the stop was my California license plate , where the “evil weed” is legal.

      1. Fuck Childress. I’m pretty sure that was the shithole Bible Belt town where I had a Sherriff’s deputy or town cop whip a hard U-Turn at one end of town, get behind me, and sit 3 feet off my rear bumper as I drove in the right lane through town. 3-5 MPH below the speed limit, because I know how these flyspeck Texas towns roll. Got to the city limits, he whipped another 180, heedless of traffic, and went back into town.

        I’ll drive all the way up to OKC and catch 40 there before I ever drive through the Red River Valley again. Miserable place, filled with hard-edged, mean-glaring people. I still have no idea what we did to piss people off in Vernon or Childress. Driving a Honda Civic with Texas plates? The Brahms shake in Quanah was delicious, though even there it seemed like the needle skipped on the record when I walked in.

        1. From this valley they say you are going…..

  8. sounds like an episode from Stossel’s are we scaring ourselves to death. your odds are about as good as contracting covid and dying.

    1. Good point; so all we have to do is stay six feet away from the cop?

  9. Duh. Why bother having police if we don’t want a police state.

    Seriously. And since we all suspect Other People of bad behavior, or at least bad morals, the urge to police them will never come back to bite us, right?

    1. A little personal accountability would solve a lot of problems.

      1. Is that how you tell us again that you personally dispose of your own body waste by consuming it?

        I suppose framing it as personal responsibility sounds better than just saying you eat your own shit like you did.

  10. This is a good point to look at all the sound and fury about Amash over the last few weeks. Raise your hand if you think that an Amash presidency really would have done anything for our liberties. Anyone? Anyone?

    We have seen the past 4 years of what happens when a rogue outsider rides into the oval office on a populist wave- he is fought tooth and nail at every step by the institutions he is meant to govern. And Trump nominally had some republicans willing to help him. Imagine a Libertarian slipping into the office.

    No, if you are a libertarian who wants to really change the future of this country, you need to be concerned with getting libertarians on the city council and state legislatures. A state legislature can actually make a difference on the laundry list of abuses above. They can require body cameras- the federal government never will. They can prohibit the exact stops that Kansas has enacted.

    1. What about a libertarian HOA? No more “free” candy during Halloween for those free-loading kids!

      1. libertarian HOA

        No such thing. HOAs always lean towards totalitarianism.

        1. Yes they do.

      2. Is it my candy that I’m giving away or, candy that I’ve taken from my neighbor under the threat of violence to be more properly distributed?

  11. Where are we on the cheek swab front? Can cops still collect DNA samples with every interaction? If they can arrest you for ticketable infractions and collect DNA samples there, “for officer safety to make sure the inmates aren’t hopped up on the marijuanas”, why not at every stop?

    I don’t see why we wouldn’t stand for a universal DNA databank if we’ll squat for a roadside cavity search. And let’s face it, if nobody’s willing to riot over roadside cavity searches, Trump was wrong to think you have to be a star before they’ll let you grab ’em by the pussy.

    1. Mandatory cheek swabs? Sounds perfectly reasonable as part of our upcoming corona panic-demic public tracking plan.

      1. Oh, and add coughing to the list of things that will get you pulled over.

        1. Coughing? You mean, like using sound waves to dispel excess, unwanted mucus from your lungs and throat? That’s OK (for now at least), so long as you do NOT use a cheap plastic flute to assist you in doing so, without the permission of a Government-Almighty-certified doctor of doctorology! Otherwise… PREPARE yourself for the wrath of the dreaded… FLUTE POLICE!!!

          In these here days of dread and fear, and zombies, and viruses, and Government Almighty not giving us all sufficient protections from ourselves, and from individual freedom, and from crazy libertarians, and from Trump-doubters… Stay ye SAFE from the flute police!

          To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

          1. Hey look, Á àß äẞç ãþÇđ âÞ¢Đæ ǎB€Ðëf ảhf busted out his other sickpuppet.

            1. “Dear Abby” is a personal friend of mine. She gets some VERY strange letters! For my amusement, she forwards some of them to me from time to time. Here is a relevant one:

              Dear Abby, Dear Abby,
              My life is a mess,
              Even Bill Clinton won’t stain my dress,
              I whinny seductively for the horses,
              They tell me my picnic is short a few courses,
              My real name is Mary Stack,
              NO ONE wants my hairy crack!
              On disability, I live all alone,
              Spend desperate nights by the phone,
              I found a man named Richard Decker,
              But he won’t give me his hairy pecker!
              Decker’s pecker is reserved for farm beasts,
              I am beastly, yes! But my crack’s full of yeasts!

              So Dear Abby, that’s just a poetic summary… You can read about the Love of my Life, Richard Decker, here:
              Farmers kept refusing to let him have sex with their animals. So he sought revenge, authorities say.
              Decker the hairy pecker told me a summary of his story as below:
              Decker: “Can I have sex with your horse?”
              Farmer: “Lemme go ask the horse.”
              Farmer: “My horse says ‘neigh’!”
              And THAT was straight from the horse’s mouth! I’m not horsin’ around, here, no mare!

              So Decker the hairy pecker told me that, apparently never even realizing just HOW DEEPLY it hurt me, that he was all interested in farm beasts, while totally ignoring MEEE!!

              So I thought maybe I could at least liven up my lonely-heart social life, by refining my common interests that I share with Richard Decker… I, too, like to have sex with horses!

              But Dear Abby, the horses ALL keep on saying “neigh” to my whinnying sexual advances!
              Some tell me that my whinnying is too whiny… Abby, I don’t know how to fix it!

              Dear Abby, please don’t tell me “get therapy”… I can’t afford it on my disability check!

              Now, along with my crack full of yeasts… I am developing anorexia! Some are calling me a “quarter pounder with cheese”, but they are NOT interested at ALL, in eating me!!! They will NOT snack on my crack!

              What will I DO, Dear Abby?!?!?

              -Desperately Seeking Horses, Men, or ANYTHING, in Fort Worth,
              Yours Truly,
              Mary Stack / Tulpa / Mary’s Period / “.” / Satan

              1. Yes it was you I was calling the sickpuppet.

                Thanks for confirming.

              2. Says the one who likes (as she tells us all the time) to slurp down her own yeast-infected vaginal secretions!

                Try this PLEASE!!!

                Prescription Treatments for Vaginal Yeast Infections




                  1. He admitted to eating shit, and people! He admitted he eats human flesh, not joking!

    2. Those roadside cavity searches were particularly egregious. Especially since the officer involved, IIRC ended up doing it again to some motorist about a year after the last controversy. She’s still working, as far as I know.

      Decent article. I do want to ask about the roadside breathalyzer though. AFAIK, and I’d like a lawyer to chime in about whether this is right or wrong, you do not have to blow into an officer’s roadside breathalyzer, and such refusal does not mean a refusal to give blood, breath, or a urine sample. As opposed to refusing to blow into the one they have at the station.

      Since I don’t know whether the roadside one: stores all tests, is calibrated as well as the one at the station, or hell, is as hygienic as the one at the station: I’d recommend declining to perform that test. As well as declining to perform roadside sobriety tests. Be polite. But politely refuse. If things have degenerated to that point, you’re likely going to jail.

      Look, consider it this way. If the guy who’s pulling you over is a DUI investigator, time is money to him. He doesn’t have that many hours to pull over drunks, and get winnable arrests so he can get that sweet, sweet courtroom OT. (Usually the highest paid cops in an area are DUI guys, and it’s because they can get gobs of OT). He’s not going to waste an hour or so—which is an hour he could be finding someone easily seen as impaired—-having you do roadside gymnastics, just so he can tell you, “Hey, you don’t look impaired after all. Have a nice drive home.” He’s having you do all of that crap because it’s evidence against you. So don’t help him.

      1. In Michigan, the driver is required to blow into the officer’s breathalyzer at the scene of the stop, if demanded by the officer. You are required to present your driver’s license, car registration, and proof of insurance. The driver is not required to submit to blood tests or cavity searches, except by way of a search warrant. The driver is not required to perform “field sobriety” tests. You are not required to consent to a search of the car (but do not physically interfere if he insists on doing it anyway; use polite verbal objections only). You are required to tell the officer if you have a registered firearm in the car. If the officer insists, he can pat you down for weapons.

        Always look out for ambiguous commands that sound like requests and requests that sound like commands. That way, when you do what you are told, the officer can say that you voluntarily stepped out of the car, or voluntarily let him search your purse. One of the worst, “I need you to …” A good reply is, “Is that a request or a command?”

        You do not have to tell the officer where you are coming from or where you are going. Exercising that right might delay your ability to leave.

        “Do you know why I pulled you over?” “I imagine you will tell me.”
        “No, really, do you know why I pulled you over?” “I make it a habit not to try to read other people’s minds.”

        The officer does not have to arrest you in order to detain you for a reasonable amount of time to issue a ticket. The officer has no right to an extended detention, including waiting for a drug dog to show up, but if you violate the officer’s orders on the scene, you might get arrested for that, and the car searched anyway. Try to record the incident if possible, and do your defending in court.

        Try to remember these phrases:

        My attorney advised me not to answer police questions other than my name and date of birth, and to provide the license, registration, and proof of insurance.
        Is that a request or a command?
        I do not consent to a search. (Why not, if you have nothing to hide?) My attorney told me never to consent to a search. (Which attorney? What’s his name?) My attorney told me I do not have to answer that question.
        Am I free to go now?
        I would like to go now. Am I free to do that?
        Am I under arrest? For what?

        And (for some humor) always carry a copy of the Constitution in your car. Then, when the officer says, “Do you have anything in the car I ought to know about?” you have a good response.

        If you go to jail anyway, don’t tell the other prisoners about your case, and don’t complain about the way the officer treated you. If you say nothing, you say nothing that can be used against you. The less other prisoners know about your case, the less able they will be to make up convincing lies against you. Some people in the jail make a regular habit of making deals to declare a fellow prisoner has confessed. If they don’t know if you are there for murder, drugs, rape, reckless driving or larceny, it is harder for them to say you confessed to it.

  12. “ In a 2017 analysis of data from 20 states, researchers at Stanford University found that “white drivers are searched in 2.0% of stops, compared to 3.5% of stops for black motorists and 3.8% for Hispanic motorists.” “

    Maybe it’s me, but this does not sound like a “profound racial disparity.“ A difference of less than two percentage points? It also sounds to me that the vast majority of black and Hispanic motorists are not searched.

    Misuse of police power and violation of rights is wrong, regardless of who is targeted. Why can we not focus on this simple facts instead of trying once again to manufacture a racial angle?

    1. Sure! Libertarianism is for old White guys who don’t like paying taxes and who want to amass a collection of assault rifles– not for Black people or dirty minorities.

      1. “not for Black people or dirty minorities.”

        Hey if they don’t want freedom that’s on them, screech.

      2. So…you think black people and minorities like paying taxes?

      3. Which one of your parents sodomized you?

        1. You say sodomized like they stopped. I believe they are still doing so as he writes his responses.

    2. You are automatically a racist for even suggesting that racial grievance (and the division it intentionally creates) is overblown.

      How dare you!

  13. This is the reason I can’t wait for fully self driving cars. The ones you can tell where to go and take a nap in the back seat. They will be PERFECT drivers. As long as you keep the taxes paid, cops have no reason to stop the car. Expect a whole slew of SC cases from people arrested while not actually driving the car.

    1. Fully self-driving cars? You mean the ones that will be required by law to have a remote override feature accessible to law enforcement, public heath officials, traffic planners, EMT techs, the fire department, NOAA, and anyone else who thinks they have a role to play in “emergencies”?

      No, I am not looking forward to that day. Even less happy about the debate we’ll be having 15 years from now on whether people should even be allowed to drive at all, except perhaps at designated recreational tracks.

      1. Not to mention the ones that by the manufacturers’ own admission will almost certainly be marketed on a subscription basis, such that if you don’t pay your monthly fee, they’ll be able to shut off access remotely. Imagine the consequences of cars shutting down automatically while driving at high speeds down the interstate. Now we’ll probably be told that service won’t be terminated while we’re at speed — only when the car is turned off — but just having that capability means that sooner it later, it will be used by law enforcement, whether in active pursuit of a fugitive or just to reduce the mobility of someone they consider a flight risk. And that’s to say nothing about the potential for havoc wrought by black-hat hackers.

        1. Shut off? Ha, that’s the mildest thing. Cars will have child safety locks, and it’s trivial – and eventually mandatory – for those to also be controllable remotely. They’ll be able to lock you in and take you wherever they think you need to be.

    2. Do you know why I pulled you over? Your car appeared to have a network lag of greater of 0.1 ms. Do you mind if we search your vehicle?

  14. You must not be worried if you are not a criminal. It’s just a legal formality and everyone has to face it if objected.
    Stay Awesome!!

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    1. Fuck off, slaver bot.

  15. Shit just watch Live PD and you can see the majority of this list put into action. They pull people over for EVERYTHING. Covet the seizure laws and enriching themselves over all else. I just can’t imagine being a cop that is constantly arresting people for drugs as your profession. What a fucking useless waste of time. If I got pulled over the drug dog would be signaling the minute it was taken out of the car. I legally transport A LOT of cannabis in my car all the time. Makes me hesitant to use that vehicle for out of state trips to MarijuanaNaziville states.

    1. Pro tip: get rid of any and all Phish or Bassnectar bumper stickers.

  16. Avoiding being shot by a cop is simple if you follow these rules:
    1) Establish dominance. Pigs respect dominant individuals so you should scream, shout, and appear aggressive. 2) Know your rights. If you didn’t do anything wrong, the pig cop has no right to detain you so you should ignore any command because it is unlawful. 3) Don’t blink. If you act like a bitch, you’ll be treated like a bitch. Never back down from a pig trying to power trip on you or your homies.

  17. You know another reason why police stops keep going wrong? Because apparently people would rather be governed by a senile 80-year old goat losing his fucking marbles than be ruled by the majesty, magnetic charisma, and sex appeal of Dear Leader.

    When we average out these state polls, they suggest that Biden’s running about 6 points ahead of Hillary Clinton’s final margin.
    In other words, the state level polls suggest that Biden has a national lead of around 8 points.
    That’s actually a little greater than the 6.6 points Biden has in the high quality national polling average taken during the same period. I should note that if we weight the average of state polls to each state’s population, we get a margin just north of that 6.6 point mark. (Weighting by population leaves us somewhat more susceptible to outlier polls, as we have fewer polls from the most populated states.)
    EIther way, all methods agree that Biden has a fairly sizable national advantage.

    I mean, how is this possible? How can we live in a society so full of dupes that actually don’t want to be ruled by a serial sexual predator and probable kiddie-diddler? In 2016 Dear Leader lost the popular vote and would have been relegated to the Loser Club had not we had an electorial system that catagorically favored the interests of shitkickers in Wyoming over states that actually have people in them. And he lost the election (in any society ruled by the popular will that is) to a women with a terminal case of Parkinson’s Disease and/or ALS. What are people thinking?

    1. I think Democrats have given up on the 2020 race. Be prepared for 2024 with Mayo Bootyedge in the lead.

      1. what I want to know if why Dear Leader isn’t ahead by 50 points. His management of the economy that Barack Obama left him with 5% unemployment that has now grown to ~25% shows that Dear Leader is capable of inspiring exponential growth. Just look at your 401ks! Let’s get back on track to the process of making America Great by getting back to where we were before Dear Leader made America Great by running the place like Obama did.

        1. Der Drumpfuhrer is saving Social Security and Medicare from fiscal ruin by sacrificing grandma and grandpa on the Altar of the Almighty Dollar. Blessed be the Economy, Blessed be our 401(k)s. Hallelujah!

        2. His management of the economy that Barack Obama left him with 5% unemployment that has now grown to ~25%

          And, true to form, the only possible explanation for the difference is the “management of the economy” by the president! Because that’s the kind of “intellectual” you are!

          1. Meh hes an admitted socialist, part of their ideology is lying openly to gain power. They admit it. Freely.

        3. “what I want to know if why Dear Leader isn’t ahead by 50 points. ”

          Because he’s not using hilldogs pollsters.

        4. It’s Obama’s economy. He said so.

    2. And he lost the election (in any society ruled by the popular will that is)

      Societies “ruled by the popular will” tend to self-destruct and turn to socialism; even your intellectually challenged hero, Karl Marx, figured that out.

      That’s why Europe has the parliamentary system and the US has the electoral college.

      In other words, the state level polls suggest that Biden has a national lead of around 8 points.

      Great! Biden can’t lose! You don’t even need to go and vote!

    3. Go throw yourself into a running woodchipper feet first, fucko.

  18. The best excuse for asserting your Constitutional rights I’ve ever seen was in the move Project X. Kid on the porch says to the cops, something like, I’d be happy to let you in the house without a warrant but the Constitution won’t let me. That is how I’d play a roadside stop. If it weren’t for that pesky Constitution then I could say yes, but, in light of it, I just can’t. We gotta maintain the Constitution, don’t we?

  19. How would this work in a libertarian world consisting of private roads? Conditions for using private roads might include agreeing to being stopped and searched at any time, and having service denied to you for any reason. And if you refuse, private security guards could likely use force. So, while there would be differences between a libertarian and a public road system, the issues you are complaining about wouldn’t be among them.

    But perhaps what you really like is the authoritarian system in use in Europe: there you don’t get stopped at all, government simply sends you a ticket and takes away your license, essentially without recourse.

    1. Just subscribe to a “Get out of Jail Free” pass for 35 centi-Bitcoins.

      1. Any more incoherent ramblings you want to share?

    2. If I am a driver, why would I want to get on a road that has such silly rules?

      1. Because it’s the only way to reach many destinations?

    3. If it were a private road, I assume you mean that I’d need to pay a toll to use it.

      If private security guards are getting their jollys off using force to remove drivers from the road, pretty soon, they’d be no drivers left to pay the toll to use that road.

      The owner of that road can now not afford a private security force.

      The security guard gets laid off, and now can not afford to pay the toll and drive to future job interviews.

      So then, it behooves the security guard to make my drive as pleasant as possible and to only remove drivers that jeopardize the safety of other paying customers.

  20. The War on Drugs has left us with a portion of a fragment of a nub of our 4th Amendment Rights. Our car stop supreme court jurisprudence is a national disgrace.

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  22. I dated a girl who was asthmatic. She was a terrible driver, even by her own admission. Coeur d’Alene cops and Kootennai County Sheriff’s deputies had a (much deserved) reputation of being anti-youth. tlThe federal government actually stepped in at one point for civil rights violations, it was so bad. You know that your civil rights record is bad if the FBI tells you it is (I mean that is like the older serial killer telling the younger serial killer “whoa man, that is just to sick”).
    Anyway, she got pulled over on US 95 by a deputy and made to take a breathalyzer. It blew zero. The deputy refused to believe it and accused her of blowing to softly. She was a tuba player so she had some lung power. She blew again harder. Still zero. He got mad and threatened to arrest her and made her blow again. She continued blowing into the breathalyzer. Around this time a state trooper had pulled over to and was witnessing it. The deputy continued to have her blow harder and longer over and over until she went into an asthmatic attack. The deputy then became extremely angry, cuffed her and accused her of taking it. The state trooper stepped in and told the deputy to remove the cuffs and call an ambulance. The deputy initially refused. The trooper then informed the deputy that if he didn’t, the trooper was arresting him. She was released and taken to the hospital and treated for her asthma (of course the deputy had obtained a warrant for her blood, which showed no alcohol, she never drank). There was never an apology. Her parents did file a complaint and the trooper supposedly had as well, but the deputy was never punished. Soon after this incident (and a number of others) the feds started investigating the department for civil rights violations. Moral of the story, in Coeur d’Alene in the late 1990’s you could get pulled over for appearing to be driving under the age 25.

  23. I think this might be the most informative article of the year on Reason. Excellent.

  24. “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn , The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

  25. HOe different are we than authoritarian regimes? The courts are just an extension of the legislative branch at this point. they will find any excuse to side with them. Going so far as to say police do not even need to know the law!
    Salinas V Texas, Watered down Miranda Rights (you now have to speak to enforce your silence)?
    Smith v Doe (confirming the governments ability to pass retroactive laws for the “protection” of the public)?
    Heien v. North Carolina (police do not have to know the laws they enforce)?
    Hendricks v. Kansas, (reversed a Kansas supreme court that says the law cannot hold you past the time you were sentenced to. YES in the USA officials can keep you incarcerated past your sentence)?

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