Getting pulled over because of the trailer - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-09-2009, 06:36 AM   #57
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Roger that!

What was the PC in April's case? Mr. Carney was informed of the evidence when confronted. If a K9 had alerted or suspicious activity was observed, fine.

Pat
Pat, we don't know what the reason for April's stop was. Her supposition is that it was because she was towing a trailer, and she didn't say if she consented to the search or it was based on probable cause. If her supposition about why she was stopped is true, then stop may have been conducted initially for something as innocuous as doing an inspection check for a proper hitch, if that's legal in the jurisdiction in which she was stopped. There's certainly nothing prohibiting an officer from asking for a consent search, and it's been ruled that having dogs check the exterior of a vehicle is not a search per se, but a dog alerting on a vehicle can be probable cause to search. Us not possessing those facts however, there's no way to assess whether the stop was appropriate. And you have to remember that her being stopped may have been appropriate, but the trailer across the way may not have been, or vice-versa... each stop is its own unique set of circumstances. Begin stopped by law enforcement and being asked to allow to search one's possessions is seldom a pleasant experience, but that it's unpleasant doesn't necessarily make it "unreasonable". Once again, I frequently find a huge gap between what the public regards the law to be and how the law is interpreted and enforced by the courts and law enforcement.

As an aside, but on a related note; Three years ago, Iowa passed a law making pseudoephedrine (the active ingredient in Sudafed) a Schedule V substance, meaning that it could only be sold by pharmacists and must be kept behind the counter and ID shown to purchase it. Ephedrine or pseudoephedrine is the one ingredient that has no substitute in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Our clandestine meth lab numbers in Iowa had skyrocketed in a very short time. 85% of meth in Iowa came from Mexico, so we weren't going to make a huge difference in the amount of meth consumed, but each "clan lab" as they're known is toxic and explosive. Meth labs can be set up anywhere, and we found a disassembled lab in a box in a travel trailer here in my town. The trailer had to be destroyed because of how toxic it was.

The general public tends to have a mental picture of a meth lab as being a science-classroom type place with beakers, tubes, and bunsen burners. The fact is that they use two-liter soda bottles, rv propane tanks, and such things as lye (sodium hydroxide), lithium batteries, starter fluid (ether), red phosphorus, anydrous ammonia, hydrochloric acid, and other wonderful toxic and explosive chemicals. Adding to the mix, if a fire starts, and someone dumps water on the lithium expecting to put the fire out, the lithium will explode sending more fire more places! Clan lab fires are exciting. Just ask any firefighter.

Meth cooks (as they're known) aren't particularly concerned about the environment, and they dump their hugely dangerous and toxic trash in roadside ditches. They contaminate watersheds and dump toxic chemicals into our sanitary sewer systems that can't be easily or reliably cleaned out of effluent. Each clan lab cleanup costs between five and twenty thousand dollars. We got the pseudoephedrine schedule V bill passed over a substantial lobby against it, and it was probably the most successful law I've ever seen in protecting the public safety. We went from hundreds of clan labs and clan lab cleanups state-wide to only a hand full in less than a year. For the past several years now, I think there have been fewer than ten labs found state-wide each year. Cooks can't just steal enough pseudoephedrine any more to make it worthwhile to do a meth cook.

The meth problem obviously hasn't gone away, but the danger to the public of having a clan lab in a camper, in the motel room next to you, or having your children contaminated by a clan lab dump in your favorite park has been reduced here dramatically.

The point to all this is that we may never know exactly why April and the other trailers were stopped; or exactly what transpired to be able for officers to search, but in an effort to protect the public safety from the dangers of meth clan labs, I'd go out on a limb here and say it was probably done lawfully, and I'd venture that most, if not all, of the searches were done within the provisions of law. While individual officers may not be as well informed on their own, there's seldom ever a case where a larger-scale operation like what April described is conducted that would be conducted unlawfully.

Roger
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:29 PM   #58
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Roger,

As to April’s scenario, I have no problem as to how it played out. My problem is with this part: “Her [b]supposition is that it was because she was towing a trailer…” Had the officer approached them and said, “Sorry for the incontinence mam/sir. We’ve had a huge problem in this area with [fill in the crime] and they are using small trailers such as your’s. We’d like to….”, this thread would be about facts rather than suppositions.

If actual criminals are required to be Mirandized when arrested, at the least, actual non-criminals should be given a courtesy explanation when inconvenienced.

Pat

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I frequently find a huge gap between what the public regards the law to be and how the law is interpreted and enforced by the courts and law enforcement.
Watch out! I'm on Jury Duty this week. They call me the "Hanging Juror"!
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:14 PM   #59
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Wonder if April asked the officer why she was pulled over. I can honestly tell you that in my experience about 90% of people don't. And only on television (or expecting a guilty reply) does an officer say "Do you know why I pulled you over."
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:27 AM   #60
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Had the officer approached them and said, Sorry for the incontinence mam/sir.
"May I use your Port a potti" might have worked equally well.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:42 AM   #61
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I'd prefer if they just said they were pulling you over for a routine check and have the laws allow them to do it. You never know what is going on in the area you are driving through.

By the time I hit Toronto, the news reported that the Police were looking for an escaped convict in the area and time I was pulled over. If I had been carjacked, I would have been grateful the cop pulled me over.
No offence taken, I quite agree with you on most of your points as if they had the power to pull you over for a routine check, I could live with that as long as they were upfront about it. I suppose my real issue is that I have been pulled over for "speeding" quite similar to the situation you described. I know I was not speeding, but was pulled over under that guise. I really don't have any problem if an officer is civil and upfront about what they are pulling me over for. I do find it annoying that they lie to your face about speeding and then ask to search your vehicle. Though, on further thought the "speeding" is the only lawful way to pull you over. Either way, i suppose i am a bit jaded with my dealings with the police as I have been arrested at gun point for fitting the description of "mid 20's, wearing jeans a black jacket," then accused of committing a crime based on no evidence. The real cake topper is that they wouldn't tell me what i was being arrested for.

I guess I feel that police are expecting a double standard, lie to the citezen but expect truthful answers. And i too would be glad if they pulled me over after having been car jacked.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:49 AM   #62
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Steve, I don't think April was saying that they singled her out just because she owned a fiberglass egg. I think it's trailers/rv's in general.
I am definitely new to the RV world, so I am not familiar with the profiling that comes with it. I guess I had better get used to the idea of being pulled over, especially because I am still in my mid 20's and own a trailer. I have a feeling that I will be profiled with more prejudice than any older folks towing trailers. Maybe I should be less harsh in my criticism of police officers as they are only doing what they feel is in the best interest of the general public.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:24 AM   #63
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We traveled a LOT of miles this summer, through 17 states and across the US/Canada border twice. The only time I got pulled over was when I missed a "school zone" sign about 3 miles from the only school I saw. (Never saw the sign - was lost in strange city.) The officer was friendly. "Oh, I'm not going to give you a ticket. I just wanted to let you know..."

Our trailer was covered in mud at the time, and the license plate had fallen off so I'd written the plate number in magic marker right on the shell (under where the plate HAD been). We couldn't have looked more hokey.

His only question about the trailer referred to our map of states visited: "So, have you been all those places on THIS trip?" And he wanted to hear more about it.

Maybe that's really why he pulled us over.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:11 AM   #64
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I am definitely new to the RV world, so I am not familiar with the profiling that comes with it. I guess I had better get used to the idea of being pulled over, especially because I am still in my mid 20's and own a trailer. I have a feeling that I will be profiled with more prejudice than any older folks towing trailers. Maybe I should be less harsh in my criticism of police officers as they are only doing what they feel is in the best interest of the general public.
Steveo, don't take this one thread out of context, this 'RV profiling' stuf is uncommon at best and this is the first I had ever heard of it (and I've been RVing since '96, with nine of those years as a Full Timer -- Never stopped except once for actual traffic violation, not counting borders. Profiling happens at the borders, but not for RVs; reportedly for RV's with Texas tags (Wild West folks *must* be carrying handguns, right? <g>).

Lots of 'profiling' existed on the I-95 corridor Maine to Miami, because it is a drug transport route from Florida, but was more likely to be vans than trailers, however, as a young person driving something that could be hauling out-of-view cargo you might be prepared to be stopped.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:05 PM   #65
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I can't believe I have not seen even a chuckle over my earlier post in this thread joking about the officer apologizing for incontinence and requesting to use the port a potti as a reason to enter a trailer.

Did I touch on a sensitive topic with the members?

I've been just about peeing myself in belly roll laughter every time I thought about it today.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:30 PM   #66
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I chuckled but didn't bother to reply...
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:47 PM   #67
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I laughed out loud - had been too "polite" to joke about it previously

It was a funny mistake, especially when you think about an officer saying it with a straight face, in a real life situation, and how you'd have to try to stay serious.

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Old 03-10-2009, 09:09 PM   #68
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I can't believe I have not seen even a chuckle over my earlier post in this thread joking about the officer apologizing for incontinence and requesting to use the port a potti as a reason to enter a trailer.

Did I touch on a sensitive topic with the members?
Would you believe, in my haste reading it, the joke went right over my head?
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:51 PM   #69
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Well, I think we just got caught up in a task force at work on I-40 between Memphis and Nashville. We got pulled over again on the way back home, just outside of Memphis. The entire stretch of HWY had at least a dozen unmarked cars scattered along every few miles. The second time being pulled over was not nearly as big of a shock as I sort of expected it to happen again. The officer claimed we were speeding around 72 even though we kept our top speed between 60 -65 max. Once again, I can not complain about the way we were treated, they were friendly enough and respectful, but then again, so were we. We greeted them with a smile, and had all our documents ready. There were no dogs on the second stop, and he basically just wanted to get a good look at us and our rig. We even mentioned getting stopped on our way in. I imagine this was an isolated situation based on location and profile. I just wish the first officers had not let the dogs scratch up our door and side panel, we openly offered to let them in the trailer. Well, chock it all up to experience..... we are back in Houston now.In both situations, we were not ticketed, just checked out and sent on our way.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:11 AM   #70
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It was a funny mistake, especially when you think about an officer saying it with a straight face, in a real life situation, and how you'd have to try to stay serious.
I know Patrick was implying the officer apologizing for the restraint (i.e. continence), yet all I could imagine was the cop coming up the side of the car with that funny fast paced walk we all know too well. For some reason, I just can't get that picture out of my mind. Maybe it was all the comments about coffee and donuts earlier in the thread.

Patrick, I feel for you sitting there waiting in a room full of people waiting to possibly be called up to Jury Duty. Been there, done that too many times. IMHO the biggest waste of human resources our governments have ever devised. In this day and age, the least they could do would be provide everyone with a cubicle, power and internet access. That way we could either get some work done, educate or entertain ourselves rather than wasting time waiting for the possible honour of serving.

April, glad to hear it went better the second time around. FYI the cops up here do blitzes too. One week it is checking for unsafe vehicles, the next for speeding, the next for improper turns at intersections. They usually announce what they are doing ahead of time. Every long weekend we expect them out for speeding, unsafe vehicles and unsafe loads. The stats proves it saves lives yet the people never seem to learn.
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