My DWI stop last night,
This is a long read but I just wanted to mention it here for anyone whose interested. If you do assert your rights in Mid Missouri, be aware that it may piss off those doing these stops and they will sometimes react in such a way as to then violate your rights. They need to be real careful. They often times do put themselves in a position where a plaintiff has grounds for a lawsuit against them.
I was stopped last night (early this morning) at a sobriety checkpoint on the Missouri River bridge in Jefferson City. They were stopping every single car. There must have been 30 patrol cars or more in total, which included vehicles from Callaway County Sheriff, Highway Patrol and Jefferson City PD. I really was surprised by the scope and intensity of this blockade. I have never seen one this large including two inland border blockades I've most recently been through.
I told the initial MSHP officer that I didn't want to answer any questions. He asked for license and insurance. I gave those no problem and then he preceeded to ask me more personal questions in regards to my trip. I told him I am choosing not to answer questions. He ordered me out of the car right on the spot. Once I got out of my vehicle I asked if I could shut it off and he told me another officer would pull it off to the side of the road. I said that I didn't want anyone in my vehicle searching it and he assured me that wouldn't happen.
He walks me over to a table they had in the road, next to a big truck that looked like it could have been a mobile lab unit. He tells me on the way that its a sobriety checkpoint and that I have to answer his questions because its a sobriety checkpoint, which I assure him that he's mistaken (Actually he's flat out lying to me about this because he can't be that stupid if he's a State Trooper). He then tells me I have to take the field sobriety test which I told him I was declining to do and he repeated that I was going to do it. I asked him if they had a breathalyzer on sight, he confirmed that they do, so I indicated I would comply with that but I wasn't going to do a FST. (I don't want to have to surrender my license which can happen that night if I don't comply with a chemical test). The officer asks me if I support drunk drivers on the highways and I told him I do not, but I also don't support these intrusive checkpoints and mentioned a study I had seen recently that showed cops, in their cars on patrol, is a much more effective method of catching drunk drivers, and its quite a significant difference. He never did perform a chemical test on me, I'd like to add.
Then here comes the officer that was in my car, with my handgun, as if he found a trophy. He shows it to the officers that are around me and says he is going to run the numbers and check if its stolen. I told the officer who first detained me that I had objected to my vehicle being searched. This other officer had found my weapon that was in a cooler such that the weapon was not in plain view. He actually did a search to find it though it was easy to find if he's going to rummage in my cooler. I vehemently reject that illegal search of my property in regards to running the gun's id numbers. I state that there is no reasonable suspicion for this search. (actually at this point they needed to go one step deeper than RS and that's to have probable cause for the search). The reasonable suspicion for my detainment was strictly because I refused to answer non-mandatory questions, which in itself, is not reasonable suspicion that a crime was, is or is about to be committed.
The officer who had found my holstered sidearm I had concluded was a buffoon. Not only did he already do an illegal search (as I hadn't been arrested, no probable cause and he had to open a container to access this weapon), not only did he say he was going to illegally run the id to see if its stolen, he now removes the safety on the weapon and begins to mess around with it while circled by both me and several of his fellow officers. I told him to be careful, its loaded and I think I told him there was a live round in the chamber. At this point, while he's working the action he sweeps me with it and then points it at my groin without even noticing he's doing this. This instantly scares the crap out of me. I move out of the way a couple of feet which causes several officers to advance (make motions) towards me and orderme to hold still. I am pretty bothered by this officer and state that he is sweeping me with the gun. He then does it again immediately after I had said something! I move a second time, one officer puts a hand on his holstered weapon and they order me to hold still again, and I again protest being swept with what is a loaded weapon by this man who is actually struggling to disarm it.
After objecting one more time to the possibility of my weapon being taken and the ID search of that weapon, and no grounds for suspicion, the Highway Patrol officer tells me that because of no smell, because of my eyes, that he feels I am not intoxicated, that I will receive my weapon back immediately and then can be on my way. They decided not to run the serial number. He tries to give me a lecture, which is fine as I take it as nothing official but his own personal chat. The substance of his lecture is completely wrong though (in my opinion) and had shown to me an authority complex such that his goal wasn't to take a drunk off the road that night, in regards to my individual stop, but to try to set an example of his authority over an average citizen who asserts his rights. These rights I might add, aren't of my own personal making. They are granted by both the State of Missouri and our Federal Government and are mandated to be respected by these Law Enforcement Officers.
They put my holster, sidearm and its magazine in the back seat of my SUV after I get into my vehicle and I proceed on my way.