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Roadside Stops- Rights of Driver?


Northern Wish
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Good question from a friend:

What are you rights as a driver who was pulled over?

Story: They got pulled over on the 401 near Brockville for a busted license plate light bulb. Cop approached on the shoulder side, upon the window opening he declared he could see the passenger "shifting around, doing something". She was turning off the radio.

Immediately ordered out of the car, pockets searched etc. At this point he says he can smell beer in the car, and demands the driver perform a breathalyzer. Driver goes into the back of the cruiser, and blows 0.00.

Driver is walked back to the car, the beer in the back seat is confiscated (no trunk in this vehicle to put the beer out of the cabin) and they are sent away with nothing, no warning, no ticket. NO BEER.

Is this legal?

What are our rights on the roadside when travelling? This is the most important part, as they would normally have been travelling with some herb and been royally screwed but since they were going to the US they didn't have any.

Wondering what to do in this situation, if no one is drinking, nothing is wrong BUT you still find yourself pulled over, and in possible violation of a completely seperate law.

S

ps. There was no open beer in the car- only 24 unopened cans in a cardboard flat on the rear seat underneath travel bags.

Edited by Guest
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I'm with you NW, I just have no idea. I've always been under the impression that, once they find one thing wrong, they have the right to do what they want, even make shit up, and it usually isn't proved otherwise until you get to court. A domino effect. You're kind of at their mercy once they utter the words 'probable cause.' You can probably protest and cite your rights but that'll just undermine them, piss them off and make your situation worse...

I know a lot of cases get thrown out in the end though, because a broken plate bulb doesn't hold up as probable cause in court...

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Good question from a friend:

What are you rights as a driver who was pulled over?

Story: They got pulled over on the 401 near Brockville for a busted license plate light bulb. Cop approached on the shoulder side, upon the window opening he declared he could see the passenger "shifting around, doing something". She was turning off the radio.

Immediately ordered out of the car, pockets searched etc. At this point he says he can smell beer in the car, and demands the driver perform a breathalyzer. Driver goes into the back of the cruiser, and blows 0.00.

Driver is walked back to the car, the beer in the back seat is confiscated (no trunk in this vehicle to put the beer out of the cabin) and they are sent away with nothing, no warning, no ticket. NO BEER.

Is this legal?

I don't know about the legality of pulling you over and all, but about the beer - I had my ma ask the cops she works with (corrections Canada aka: fed. parole) because my brother and law & I were talking about having to put beer in the trunk just a couple weeks ago - according to the cop she spoke to, as long as it is in the backseat, not within easy access of the driver and unopened its not illegal, especially if the driver isn't drunk. This has always been my understanding too.

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AGCO says:

 

7. Under what circumstances is it illegal to transport beverage alcohol?

It is illegal to transport beverage alcohol in a motor vehicle, a motorized snow vehicle or a boat unless the beverage alcohol is in a container that is unopened and the seal unbroken, or unless the beverage alcohol is packaged in baggage that is fastened closed or is not otherwise readily available to anyone in the vehicle. In a boat, the beverage alcohol must be stored in a closed compartment.

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It's all about cops using their authority to ask questions that people comply with. Once you do that, you end up giving up some of your rights from what I understand.

If cops come to your door they will ask "can we come in to ask a few questions." If you allow them, then they no longer need to seek out a search warrant to do so.

When pulled over, you technically don't have to say a word. Hand them lisence, registration and insurance through the window. Ask what you are being pulled over for. Keep your hands in plain view. They have to have probable cause to get in your car (or if you allow them). There is a really good video out there on this. I'll see if I can find it.

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When pulled over, you technically don't have to say a word. Hand them lisence, registration and insurance through the window. Ask what you are being pulled over for. Keep your hands in plain view. They have to have probable cause to get in your car (or if you allow them).

Unfortunately, they get around that easily enough with the whole "reasonable grounds" to believe of criminal activity (includes driving).

"I smell alcohol"

"I smell marijuana"

"..was driving erratically"

Regardless if it's wrong or right, if you dispute/refuse the sobriety test, they'll take you in. If they claim the odor of marijuana, and ask to search and you say no, they can use the reasonable grounds bullshit to arrest you then search. Arguing with them never helps, especially on the side of the road.

[color:red]edited on the advice of a friend, I said more then I needed to.

But, lets just say I know all to well about the bullshit, I knew my rights, stood up for myself and still got popped and I'll elaborate more privately if you want.

Edited by Guest
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They do what they want , how scary is Cell phone Law for that , Cop will say you were on the phone and bam there in your car with a , Oh i'm sorry when they let you go.( Clear history as they pull you over). Also stand up for yourself with Pricks like the one you had to deal with, tell him you will follow him to the Station to talk to a Supervisor to get your beer back , Police cannot legaly take your property , that is theft . They do not like when passangers are drinking , sounds like you were , but if it is as you say and you have the time .Get your gear back.

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This is about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and is not really a short answer.

That said, if it could be answered quickly, I'd say YATS did so. His answer is essentially correct, and the bottom line is that an illegal search is only deemed so by a Judge, and by then you've spent a fortune on legal fees and grown a lot of grey hairs knowing that if you don't win on the Charter issue you will be convicted.

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