Post by jonathanstreetatty on Jun 14, 2006 18:14:23 GMT -5
Since the first Bonnaroo, I have represented many persons who were arrested or cited for a variety of offenses either along the way or at the gates of Bonnaroo. Based on my experiences, here are a few tips that might keep you from being pulled over to begin with or provide you with a defense should you be charged with any crime:
1. DO NOT SPEED!!!- An enormous number of speeding tickets are issued the same weekend of Bonnaroo to persons with out of state tags. If you (1) have out of state tags on your car or RV, (2) are speeding (even a little bit) and (3) look like you might be going to Bonnaroo- you will most likely be stopped somewhere along the way.
2. If someone is pulled over by law enforcement on the right side of the highway, get into the left lane if possible before you pass that vehicle and vice versa. Tennessee law requires that you do so if it is possible to do so safely. This is one of the most common explanations police will give for stopping a car. Also, use your turn signals when changing lanes and wear your seat belts. (other popular explanations given by police for stopping a vehicle)
3. If one person in the vehicle has illegal drugs, law enforcement will often charge every person in the vehicle for possession of these illegal drugs. Even if the person admits that the drugs belong to them.
4. Be especially careful in certain counties. There are counties along the way to Bonnaroo which take an aggressive stance in stopping cars going to Bonnaroo. Often, these are counties where the penalties sought for drug related offenses are greater as well. For more information regarding this, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the 24 hour Bonnaroo hotline we are sponsoring starting Thursday night, 615-428-0100.
5. I can not stress this enough- YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO WHEN AN OFFICER ASKS TO SEARCH YOUR CAR!!! The police will tell you things such as “The drug dogs are on their way so you might as well just give me what you have” or “If you give me what you have right now, then I will just issue you a citation” or “I can search anyway- that is the law in tennessee so you might as well let me.” Do not believe them, this is not the law in Tennessee or any other state. You always have a right to say no. If you allow an officer to search your car, or voluntarily provide the officer with any contraband- then you most likely have lost your right to say no at that point. THEY WILL PRESSURE YOU- BUT REMEMBER, YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO WHEN AN OFFICER ASKS TO SEARCH YOUR CAR!!! (It is often good to get any exchange between yourself and the officers on tape as they often “forget” what was actually said when they get to court)
6. Law enforcement can only detain you as long as necessary to complete the purpose of the traffic stop. For example, if you were pulled over for speeding; you can only be detained as long as it takes to issue a citation. The police may not detain you any longer than that. You may politely explain to the policeman that you are in a hurry and if they are through issuing the citation, you would like to leave. THEY MAY TELL YOU UNDER TENNESSEE LAW YOU HAVE TO STAY UNTIL DRUG DOGS ARRIVE - THIS IS NOT TRUE!! IF THE POLICE HOLD YOU LONGER THAN NECESSARY, ALL EVIDENCE THEY SEIZE AFTER THAT MAY BE SUBJECT TO BEING SUPPRESSED IN COURT!! (Again, It is often good to get any exchange between yourself and the officers on tape).
7. WHEN YOU ARRIVE AT THE GATES AT BONNAROO, YOU STILL MAY REFUSE TO LET THEM SEARCH YOUR VEHICLE. They will probably search it anyway and say they have permission to search any vehicle coming into the property from the property owner. However if you refuse to give them consent- any evidence seized will be subject to suppression in court. Think about it, if I had a friend at my house and the police came and asked me to allow them to search- do I have the right to allow them to search my friend’s purse because she is on my property? Absolutely not.
Remember, no matter what- keep your cool.
If you have further questions or need advice along the road- please do not hesitate to contact our office at our 24 hour Bonnaroo hotline starting Thursday night- (615) 428-0100 or e-mail me at email@example.com
Post by brandonroo on Jun 14, 2006 18:25:58 GMT -5
Thank you so much for this, this cleared up a handful of questions I had regarding police searches (namely how long they are able to detain you for) and will certainly be invaluable if I have any run-ins with the law this weekend.
Post by jonathanstreetatty on Jun 14, 2006 18:48:09 GMT -5
I would be surprised if Ohio or Kentucky are any different than Tennessee in that respect. If you get pulled over, try to have some way of recording how long you were stopped- officers also tend to forget actually how long the stop took.
Post by jonathanstreetatty on Jun 15, 2006 0:51:45 GMT -5
Yes, it is illegal for a person under 21 to possess beer for any purpose and it is unlawful for them to transport it unless it is in the scope of their employment. It is a Class A Misdemeanor if you are caught.
Thanks for the info. It would be wise to note that even though the officer must be prompt with the detainment, DO NOT DRIVE AWAY , even if you feel your rights are violated.. If the cop is stalling, you have every right to be able to be on your way, but as long as the officer is detaining you, fleeing is still considered Evasion.
Cops will always use their authority to intimidate you, as well as the assumption that citizens don't know their rights. If you politely prove them otherwise, they normally won't fuss with you anymore.
Hey, if I wanted to use a small microcassette to record my exchange with the officer, should he know I have it, or is it better to keep it secret? What does the law say about recording officers?
And again thanks for giving all of us a hand, but if possible, I think you can have a better impact by starting the hotline on Wednesday morning/afternoon. This is when most people are starting to leave. By Thursday night, everyone is in the festival grounds already.
*i like coconuts, you can break them open they smell like ladies lyin in the sun** *Hell I don't even know where I am** *for now I must sit here and ponder the yonder: The herbivores did well cause their food didn't never run** *We listen, if it feels good We shake** *You made a big impression for a girl of your size, Now I can't get by without you and your big brown eyes.**
Post by universalmind on May 17, 2007 21:00:40 GMT -5
I'm going to bet that those saying there was a "police checkpoint" are unaware that there are two entrances into Bonnaroo. One of which is directly off the e-way. The other that has signs saying "BONNAROO TRAFFIC USE EXIT XXX" that takes you onto Bushy Branch where there are plenty of cops directing traffic, NOT searching cars. Maybe I'm wrong but I'm almost positive we would have heard from someone on here if there were that many people that got busted from a FAKE checkpoint.
Post by The Killer Bee Relay Team on May 18, 2007 7:32:16 GMT -5
I saw a big, flashing "all Bonnaroo traffic exit here" sign, and a a few cars waiting in line at the exit offramp. Immediately afterwards (same exit) i saw cars that were CLEARLY bonnaroo-bound re-entering the highway...and lots of flashing lights directly off the exit.
So, with the exit and re-entry...coupled with the police presence, i could only assume that it was some type of checkpoint.
i was coming from the north...this occurred about 10 minutes before i hit the TRUE bonnaroo exit.