Re: JAMBO97 AUTO Travel tips - radar
Ed Darrell (EDarr1776@AOL.COM)
Sun, 4 May 1997 00:08:09 -0400
In a message dated 97-05-03 11:51:16 EDT, sgtyler@EROLS.COM (Steven G. Tyler)
<< As to the further search, that would be
subject to the rather arcane 4th Amendment requirements, but in general,
being stopped for possession and use of a radar detector doesn't strike
me as sufficient probable cause to warrent a full-vehicle, warrentless
search. If the officer asks, and you consent, you've waived your right
to object, though. >>
Late last year I served on a grand jury in Dallas County. By careful
estimate (I counted during a couple of sessions) about 60 percent of drug
arrests began as simple traffic stops -- for no taillight lamp, for failure
to signal a turn, for failure to come to a complete stop, for expired
inspection sticker, for expired license, and one failure to use seat belt.
After hearing a story on NPR on the way into the jury one morning I quizzed
several uniformed cops and they confirmed that between a fifth and a fourth
of their simple traffic stops subsequently lead to drug arrests. The NPR
story said that Los Angeles had an average of 25 percent of traffic stops
yielding drug arrests.
I doubt that it is quite that high in Virginia, but Northern Virginia and the
area around Norfolk/Virginia Beach rival Los Angeles in cosmopolitan-ness.
Don't expect country hick cops.
What the cops told me was that they find that often people who commit the
minor infractions do it because they are impaired; a stop often yields the
probable cause for further search.
So if radar detectors are illegal -- yeah, by all means, if you have one, put
it in the trunk if you're not going to leave it at home. If you get stopped,
act like Scouts. If the cop is suspicious, and you do not consent to a
search, he may well arrest you and call for a warrant. So don't give him
reason to be suspicious.
But I must wonder on a board that has been very hard on our Chief Scout
Executive for being accused of carrying an illegal weapon -- why would you
have a radar detector on the way to a Scout function? You're not going to be
traveling faster than the speed limit, are you?
How much easier would your life be if you just planned enough time so that
you could stay well within speed limits everywhere . . .
Leadfoot Ed Darrell
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City