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American Fork DUI Checkpoint
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By Mark Lewis
From Salt Lake City, Utah
Jul 25, 2012

So we were up in the Hell area on Saturday 21st. We planned on spending the entire day up in that area. It was idyllic; perfect weather and there wasn't another soul up there. The people in our group kept making incredulous comments about how it was unusual that on the last holiday weekend of summer that we were the only group up there. It was perplexing, until we began to notice in the late afternoon that up-canyon traffic was backing up and in a stop & go mode from what we could see of the road.

Eventually we walked down from the Hell area and noticed a massive DUI checkpoint had been setup, taking the entire Hell area parking pull out. There were probably around 40 police vehicles, RV's, etc.

And be warned...if you don't have that clean cut Mormon look, but rather look like a climber, you'll have higher than average odds of being pulled over and tested, vehicle searched, etc.

Interesting experience for our group. We were able to have the Hell area all to ourselves on a busy weekend but then had to be stopped and harassed by police at the end of the day!

Any other climbers get caught up in that checkpoint? Stories? Has anyone ran across police setting up checkpoints like this in AF in the past?


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By Kenny Thompson
From woodfords, california
Jul 25, 2012
gorge

I didn't think the beer was strong enough to get you drunk.


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By i smell a rat
Jul 25, 2012

just another example of the country moving towards a "police state".
I have never understood the legality of DUI checkpoints, I mean there is no probable cause to stop every driver at random. I am strongly against drunk driving but giving up our rights to achieve it seems wrong.


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By Dankasaurus
From Lyons, CO
Jul 25, 2012

i smell a rat wrote:
just another example of the country moving towards a "police state". I have never understood the legality of DUI checkpoints, I mean there is no probable cause to stop every driver at random. I am strongly against drunk driving but giving up our rights to achieve it seems wrong.


You're obviously not a member of the rapidly growing "safety at any cost" demographic.


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By Jason S.
From Durango, Co
Jul 25, 2012
Attempting the Serrator... didn't go well

They agree with you in Oregon, no DUI checkpoints allowed there.


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By danulu
Jul 25, 2012

i smell a rat wrote:
just another example of the country moving towards a "police state". I have never understood the legality of DUI checkpoints, I mean there is no probable cause to stop every driver at random. I am strongly against drunk driving but giving up our rights to achieve it seems wrong.


Maybe they aren't looking for drunk drivers. Maybe they are actually looking for the "rich yuppie selfish people that have been becoming more frequent in the climbing scene lately."


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By Perin Blanchard
Administrator
From Orem, UT
Jul 25, 2012
Racking too much gear, as usual.

I was wondering what the Sheriff Department tape all over the parking area was for.

In one of many dubious decisions (from a libertarian point-of-view) the Rehnquist Court found DUI checkpoints to be constitutionally permissible: Wikipedia article

Apparently, the Utah House voted earlier this year to outlaw DUI checkpoints but the Senate later defeated the bill.


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By sfotex
From Sandy, UT
Jul 25, 2012

900 people stopped, 19 arrests -- sweet use of time and resources.


www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54556764-78/checkpoint-arrested-b>>>


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By zenetopia
Jul 26, 2012

I was in Mark's group on Saturday. Once we figured out what was going on, hiking out & up to the car, I said that my girlfriend & I were going to get stopped; that there was going to be a problem because of the way I looked & the way my car looked (prayer flags on the top, stickers, ect..), mostly jokingly. Sure enough, as we were told to stop, the attending officer, asking the plastic questions they always ask, said that my eyes were a tad blood shot, & that he wants me to pull off on the side of the road so he can talk to me. He asked me to get out of the car, & continued on with my (slightly) 'bloodshot eyes'. I explained to him that I had been up since 4am (which was true) & that I had also been climbing all damn day in the heat (which was true) & that I had also been sober from anything for nearly 21 months (which is true). Nevertheless he conducted a field sobriety test. I 'passed', yet seemingly he wasn't satisfied. He called over another officer with a drug sniffing dog. They did a perimeter 'sniff' of my car. That officer said he was satisfied & didn't think I had anything in the car. The original officer said, 'ok, never the less, I am going to do a search inside your car.' Which he & one other officer proceeded to do. All in all, 20, 30 min later, were were on our way.
Profiling? Not sure. Maybe. Seems suspect to me seeing as how the entire time each car passed with barely a stop.
What else I find humorous is how many years did i get away with being stupid & making mistakes by driving under the influence, only to be stopped during a now healthy & sober life. Ironic. Still, it was nerve wracking & seemed a bit over kill...


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By kBobby
From Spokane, WA
Jul 26, 2012

Zenetopia, if ever you are in this situation again, ask them to see their search warrant. Searching a person's vehicle requires either consent or a warrant (or reasonable suspicion that you are currently a danger to the officer or the public).

www.aclu.org/files/kyr/kyr_english.pdf

This even includes situations where the owner/driver of the vehicle is arrested.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona_v._Gant

Police cannot search you, your home, your vehicle, or your belongings without either (a) your consent; (b) a warrant; or (c) knowledge of facts which would lead to reasonable belief that you are committing a crime or there is evidence of a crime in your vehicle. Refusing to allow police to search your vehicle is not sufficient to support reasonable belief.


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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Jul 26, 2012
Mathematical!

kBobby wrote:
Zenetopia, if ever you are in this situation again, ask them to see their search warrant. Searching a person's vehicle requires either consent or a warrant (or reasonable suspicion that you are currently a danger to the officer or the public). www.aclu.org/files/kyr/kyr_english.pdf This even includes situations where the owner/driver of the vehicle is arrested. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona_v._Gant Police cannot search you, your home, your vehicle, or your belongings without either (a) your consent; (b) a warrant; or (c) knowledge of facts which would lead to reasonable belief that you are committing a crime or there is evidence of a crime in your vehicle. Refusing to allow police to search your vehicle is not sufficient to support reasonable belief.


While I agree that you shouldn't let "the man" walk all over you, I think that if a cop wanted to search my car, and I was certain I had nothing illegal inside, I'd agree just to avoid the drama that refusing would be sure to raise.


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By kBobby
From Spokane, WA
Jul 26, 2012

Taylor Ogden wrote:
While I agree that you shouldn't let "the man" walk all over you, I think that if a cop wanted to search my car, and I was certain I had nothing illegal inside, I'd agree just to avoid the drama that refusing would be sure to raise.

That is why our civil liberties are slowly eroding.


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By kBobby
From Spokane, WA
Jul 26, 2012

I wanted to add...

I was once stopped for speeding and was asked by the Law Enforcement Officer, after he had just written me a ticket, if he and his partner could search my car.

I politely told the officer that I would like to exercise my right to NOT having my car searched.

We had a short conversation about it. The words "Search Warrant" came up a couple of times. All in all, it was really very courteous. There was no drama, and I was sent on my way in under a minute.

YMMV


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By Eric Coffman
Jul 26, 2012
mountainlion

I agree with KBobby I have read your posts a number of times Taylor Ogden and you seem to be on top of your game but if people like you dont stand up for your rights who will?


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Jul 26, 2012
modern man

I once told a cop NO when he asked me to let him search my car. Guess how that went down. he put his hand on his gun, asked me to exit the vehicle and proceeded to search the car. He found nothing and wrote me a ticket for failing to come to a complete stop at a sign(which he did not witness since he was not there to see it).

The best thing you can do is make an ass out of them, especially in zenetopias situation. lol when they ask you to search, tell them it is a waste of their time and they should run along and play big boy with some real criminals.

and kbobby has a point, people like Taylor need to stand up for their rights or watch them slowly disappear. give a pig an inch and they take a mile every single time.

and its a good thing I wasnt coming down the canyon that day, we always had a 12 pack of some ice cold 3.2 waiting at the car.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Jul 26, 2012
Stoked...

zenetopia wrote:
I was in Mark's group on Saturday. Once we figured out what was going on, hiking out & up to the car, I said that my girlfriend & I were going to get stopped; that there was going to be a problem because of the way I looked & the way my car looked (prayer flags on the top, stickers, ect..), mostly jokingly. Sure enough, as we were told to stop, the attending officer, asking the plastic questions they always ask, said that my eyes were a tad blood shot, & that he wants me to pull off on the side of the road so he can talk to me. He asked me to get out of the car, & continued on with my (slightly) 'bloodshot eyes'. I explained to him that I had been up since 4am (which was true) & that I had also been climbing all damn day in the heat (which was true) & that I had also been sober from anything for nearly 21 months (which is true). Nevertheless he conducted a field sobriety test. I 'passed', yet seemingly he wasn't satisfied. He called over another officer with a drug sniffing dog. They did a perimeter 'sniff' of my car. That officer said he was satisfied & didn't think I had anything in the car. The original officer said, 'ok, never the less, I am going to do a search inside your car.' Which he & one other officer proceeded to do. All in all, 20, 30 min later, were were on our way. Profiling? Not sure. Maybe. Seems suspect to me seeing as how the entire time each car passed with barely a stop. What else I find humorous is how many years did i get away with being stupid & making mistakes by driving under the influence, only to be stopped during a now healthy & sober life. Ironic. Still, it was nerve wracking & seemed a bit over kill...


This is clearly illegal. You should have gotten a photo of your eyes and talked to a lawyer. I would not have let them search my car in this instance, period. Passed sobriety test, dog sniffed car and passed, WHY would you let them search your shit? I guess just avoidance of issues since you knew ur shit was clean.

EDIT: This really just amazes me... Back East I only on July 4th do they have checkpoints and even then it's only on major roads close to major party/beach spots. If this was an everyday story around here I would be 100% aggressiveness about protecting my rights.


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By Jeremy Riesberg
From Boulder, CO
Jul 26, 2012
Palisaid, SD.

I do not consent to searches.

That's all you need to say. Also, "am I being detained or am I free to go?"


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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Jul 26, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

I like the duality of this story. I guess I'm what people (people that categorize other people) would call libertarian. I want the government much less involved in everything. This case is no exception.

Zenetopia's story is a classic case that's been going on since before the "greaser" era.

This quote from the story " officers delayed drivers who showed signs of impaired driving;" is vague, at best. What does "showed signs of impaired driving" mean? Swerving? Driving too slow? An unshaven face, and bloodshot eyes? Anyone that thinks this isn't a violation of this guy's rights is wrong. IMO.

However, part of me loves that these two shitbags- "...the woman, who was with her child, was among the latter.

The woman — arrested after officers found the drugs inside her child’s diaper bag — was among 19 people arrested on drug and alcohol violations, Cannon said.

In another case, a man was arrested after his blood-alcohol content was tested at 0.166, more than double the legal limit. With him in the car were his three sons, ages 8, 10 and 12; they eventually were turned over to their mother..."
got busted. I'd much rather read about people endangering kids or using kids to smuggle shit getting caught rather than the alternative of kids getting killed and injured.

So, what's the solution? Because right now, it sometimes seems like rights have to be violated in order to bust people that should be busted for doing dumb, dysfunctional shit that endangers others.

One thing I can think of, is to make the penalties stiffer, and streamline the judicial system while simultaneously lightening up on the privacy and rights violations. Either way, good post. Makes me think about things.


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By Jeremy Hand
Jul 26, 2012
slopey

Where I live it apparently does NOT matter if it is illegal... I had a similar experience a few months ago.

Coming back from the blue hole with my woman and her friend we were stopped by a small municipal police officer for speeding (I was on the phone at the time going down a rather large hill so it is very possible that I was speeding). He asked me what we were doing and I told him coming from the blue hole blah blah blah. He asked if I had anything to drink and I told him yes, that we split a 6 pack (truth) the couple hours we were down there.

He asked for my ID and insurance and for me to step out of the car (everything is valid). He then asked me if I had anything illegal in the vehicle and I told him no. He asked if he could search the car and I told him that I'm a staunch supporter of the 4th amendment and that he could not. About that time, he told me that my car smelled like cologne(I had not sprayed cologne in a very long time) and that a second officer would be circling my car with a K-9... I told him okay(knowing that nothing had been in the vehicle in months, I am tested at my job so I had to kick the habit over a year earlier). He took me on the passenger side of the police car as the K-9 circled. The officer came back and said that the dog hit on the driver door (there was no bean bag and the dog did not bark, nor did I notice the pup sit or do anything out of the ordinary) and that he was going to search the car. He asked my girlfriend to lift up her shirt right below her bosom and to shake out her shirt, she complied(she is well endowed in that area). All the while never asking her friend to get out of the back seat....

They searched the car and found nothing. They strew the contents of my gf's purse throughout the car without consent. They went through her camera bag (the camera ended up on the passenger side of the back seat, the case on the driver side, the lens cap in the passenger, front floor board, and the glare shield in my center console.

After the found nothing, the leading officer asked to search my trunk... I told him no, reaffirming what I had told him earlier. He told me that he was going to anyway since I consented to having my car searched in the first place. Frustrated and annoyed I told him I didn't care because you aren't going to find anything except some empty beer cans.

The finished up rummaging through my shit and told me that my girl friend would need to drive home. As I was walking to the passenger side of the car the K-9 officer, whom I never interacted with the entire time said, "Make sure when you split your rello that you pour all the tobacco out the window." I turned and looked at him and with a hint of attitude replied, "Excuse me?" He repeated himself. I responded, "I don't know what you are implying sir but---" He cut me off and told me that if he was going to imply something that he would tell me straight out and that he could arrest me right now and have my car impounded and stripped to the ground.

I just turned around and told him good day and got in the car. I went and talked to a sargeant the next day and filed a detailed complaint on the officer and never heard anything back. I ended up paying 120 bucks for the ticket.



TL;DR: The police deliberately ignored my constitutional right and searched my vehicle and trunk while obviously lying. Police don't care about your 'rights' and the sooner we all realize that our 'rights' aren't given to us by nature or a higher being but rather our Government the better. (sarcasm)

Quoting the world-renowned NWA, "Fuck Tha Police!"



It is kinda ironic because I've already applied for the police department. lol


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By Jeremy Hand
Jul 26, 2012
slopey

Check your local laws to ensure you are complying but, I am going to tape every incident I have with any authority from here on out.


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By Eric Coffman
Jul 26, 2012
mountainlion

Jeremy Hand I just watched a video on the net where a guy has a helmet cam on and gets harassed by a cop goes home and posts it and indeed did get a ticket for what he posted on the net. Turns out he had violated an ordinance for videoing an officer on duty without consent or notification, he got off because the helmet cam was HUGE and obvious check out the photo if you can find it looks like something out of star wars. Lol


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Jul 26, 2012
Stoked...

Jeremy Hand wrote:
Check your local laws to ensure you are complying but, I am going to tape every incident I have with any authority from here on out.


Ya - If u got an Iphone or another smart phone it wouldn't hurt to whip it out and start video recording the process.


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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Jul 26, 2012
modern man

Morgan Patterson wrote:
Ya - If u got an Iphone or another smart phone it wouldn't hurt to whip it out and start video recording the process.


unless you are in New Haven, then they will take your phone and arrest you...


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By mcarizona
From Flag
Jul 26, 2012

I tried "I do not consent to search." Cop said: I've got probable cause, hands on the hood. That was in Las Vegas. It all worked out luckily.


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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Jul 26, 2012
Stoked...

fair weather climber wrote:
unless you are in New Haven, then they will take your phone and arrest you...


Whoa really? For what? I mean New Haven is about as corrupt as they come... Jimmy Morrison "Blood in the streets of New Haven." Bridgeport is talking about re-instating the curfew I heard...


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By Nick Stayner
From Billings, MT
Jul 26, 2012
Nick Stayner near the crux. Ryan Minton photo.

Oh Utah... I remember heading from Yosemite to Indian Creek one day and getting a call from a friend that there were "mandatory sobriety checkpoints" at all border entries or something like that. Really threw me for a loop.

Anyone know what the "mandatory sobriety checkpoints" entail?

I also remember when I worked in Tuolumne the NPS set a couple of these up at the Tioga Pass entrance.


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