Sunday, April 22, 2007

WARNING! Narcotics Checkpoint Ahead

Yesterday four friends from Birmingham came down to celebrate my victory over Tallapoosa County and the State of Alabama on drug charges. They traveled down 280, which is the main route to Alexander City from BHAM.

While we were eating lunch they told me about how when they got to Harpersville they saw a sign that said "WARNING! Narcotics Checkpoint Ahead" and a few feet further along they saw one that said "Drug Dogs Present."

Needless to say they were a tad bit unnerved, but drove on through without incident.

I have heard of these kinds of scare tactics before and want to explain to my readers how exactly it works.

1. Unless there is a major accident police are not going to impede the flow of traffic anywhere on 280 or any other major highway or interstate. So, there is actually NO Narcotics checkpoint. What the police do is position soneone near the sign with a pair of binoculars to watch for motorists tossing things out the window. When spotted tossing, Officer 1 will radio ahead to Officer 2 with a description of the automobile. Officer 1 will try to find what was tossed while officer two stops the automoile. They also look for people trying to avoid the checkpoint by turning around.

2. Police cannot just stop anybody and search them for drugs. They must have a probable cause to stop a vehicle and search it for any reason. They cannot just stop everybody on the road and use drug dogs on them to see if they are carrying anything. That is unconstitutional...not that they give a rats ass for the Constitution or anything....but the fact remains and it will save your ass in court should you wind up there because of one of these checkpoints.

So, the narcotics checkpoint ahead and drug dogs present signs are nothing but scare tactics designed to make you toss your stash, which then gives the cops probable cause to stop your car.

Sneaky bastards!

My advice:

If you ever see signs like this on the highway and you are carrying anything just be cool, do the speed limit, DON'T TOSS YOUR STASH and do not try to avoid the "imaginary checkpoint" as those are all reasons to stop you and a stop in that situation will 9 times out of 10 lead to a search of your auto and person.

Also, WATCH THIS VIDEO so that you know what your rights are in a police encounter.


Anonymous said...

You go Lo!!!

Anonymous said...

"..but the fact remains and it will save your ass in court should you wind up there because of one of these checkpoints."

WHHAAAATTT will save our asses???
these cops do ANYTHING they want Ive done lots of time for weed! if they get you ,they got you and theres nothing you can do. there is no more constitution!!! what the frick are you thinking. if u get caught u gotta take one for the team. thats the way i see down for no laws

Anonymous said...

What about the check points in the southern parts of Texas? Not sure if they still have them, but in 1997 I was headed back from San Antonio and we hit a check point and they did infact have a dog they walked around our van. Luckily I didnt have anything on me at the time, but it was in fact a check point and we had no choice but to stop. I am sure its due to being a northbound route from Mexico, but I wouldn't say they are all scare tactics, at least I know they had them 10 years ago. I have not since been to southern Texas so I can not confirm if they still have them in place or not.

Loretta Nall said...

I lived in El Paso for a couple of years and down near the border on the two lane roads there would sometimes be roadblocks looking for illegal immigrants. Not for drugs. WHat I meant when I said major highway or interstate was just that....a four lane major artery into a major city or interstates leading into or out of that city.

I also don't believe it would pass constitutional muster to conduct drug searches on a two lane road for every motorist passing by. That isn't to say it doesn't happen and that cops never get away with it...I think it is more that people don't know their rights in these situatuons.

-Sepp said...

At the end of the video where you are told that after entering a club or venue, taking the metal detector wand or, a pat down before entering the club and something illegal is found, you CAN be BUSTED and they can detain you.
Ref. People vs Terry

So simply trying to leave may not be the answer. If you know you may face a search (all that is required is a sign saying you may be searched when entering) is IMPLIED CONSENT so leave yer stuff in the car or, at home!