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can a scale officer search my truck

Discussion in 'General Expediter Forum' started by wombat4412, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. wombat4412

    wombat4412 Seasoned Expediter

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    a few week ago i was down in south carolina on I.20 ok just entered the state & i came across the scale just before columbia it was opened so entered it had a load on coming out of laredo got the red light park it ,
    question now took my log book & co driver log in with me all the required paperwork and next thing is my load is being searched the cabin of my truck and then he asked could i wake up my co driver as he needed to search the sleeper wow mate you want me to wake this woman i value life more than that but he did not find this funny driver are you refusing to comply can they make us wake up someone sleeping..

    by the way just for the record she was not a happy camper and i heard about it for the next two hours till thankfully she felt asleep again if only this officer knew what his action would cause me it is like waking up a grizzly bear in the middle of it winter sleep and the roaring afterwards :+ :) ;) :p x( x( x( x( x(
    wombat
     
  2. davekc
    Caffeine Fix

    davekc Senior Moderator Staff Member Fleet Owner

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    Yes they can search your truck. Most however won't bother a sleeping codriver unless there is some suspicion of something.












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    • wombat4412

      wombat4412 Seasoned Expediter

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      okie dokey well here found nothing must have been my aussie ascent then
       
    • RichM

      RichM Veteran Expediter Charter Member

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      I disagree with my friend DaveKC. It is my opinion that a DOT Officer needs PROBABLE cause before they can search your truck. They can look at your cargo to make sure it is loaded and secured properly but to go into the cab and sleeper they need a bonafide reason. To make your partner leave the sleeper could result in a HOS violation as 8 hours must be spent in the sleeper,having her/him leave the sleeper puts that person on duty and may result in a HOS violation.

      Last year I successfully fought off a Texas officer who wanted his dog to check my cab and sleeper. He said he could get a warrant,I replied, "Do so and my company will want to know your probable cause
      to make this search.
      Simply put DOT guys can only look for possible safety problems on your truck or cargo.
       
    • davekc
      Caffeine Fix

      davekc Senior Moderator Staff Member Fleet Owner

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      I thought that changed after 9/11 under the national security act?
      I could be wrong. I thought they could search any commercial vehicle as long as it was a DOT officer.
      The person in the sleeper would be in violation. Not sure how that would work? Even on probable cause or a warrant.






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    • wombat4412

      wombat4412 Seasoned Expediter

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      all i know was he was very firm could you please get your wife up sir in a very firm voice i try informing him that the woman been driving all night long and been asleep now for over a hour nope please wake her by the way he pulled my brief case out and asked what is in this sir papers private papers immigration papers etc he even asked to see my green card can give him full points for doing his job well at least and waking up the old lady opps should not have called her that more like a grizzly bear and a bad tempered one at that but i guess i would be as well if i was asked to get up after 10 hours driving and just got to sleep
      wombat

      ps they tell me the bruises will disappear in a few weeks that is from the flying cup from the sleeper
       
    • guest

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      Wombat there was a thing on 20/20 in regards to this where a police officer's go over board on the law. You can say no to an officer. Rich is right on his post.


      Drive safe

      Dave Mayfield
      FEDExCC/Roberts Express O/O Since 3/1/1995
      C1847,C2045,D3397,D5047
       
    • prescat

      prescat Expert Expediter

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      As an expediter and former state trooper, my guess is that it would be a state by state decision, as to the powers of the scale officer. However, since state law does not supercede federal law, (14th amendment), and there are still, (barely), some laws that protect our rights, (theoretically), against unreasonable search and seizure, my guess is that the search was illegal, whether it was a scale officer or a police officer/trooper. (Ofcourse I realize that don't mean jack when it's 2am in some podunk scale house and you're under load and being threatened with being put out of service) Also, techically your sleeper is continued your domicile and generally law enforcement can check the drivers immediate reach area, but nothing else...unless they hace probable cause, feel their in immenent danger...or have a warrant. My guess is that this search and harrassment of your co-driver was illegal, (and ridculous), but who has the time and effort to do anything, we're too busy trying to make money.
       
    • targuard86

      targuard86 Expert Expediter

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      Prescat is wrong about a sleeper being protected by the 14 amendment. The Supreme Court has ruled many times that because a vehicle is "readily moveable" an officer is not required to have a warrant to search it. The officer needs "reasonable suspicion" not probably cause. According to the federal Court of appeals in Richmond (the federal circuit that "controls" case law for SC) the fact that a vehicle has a sleeper doesn’t give the occupants any more rights than a normal vehicle. (We had a state trooper murdered on I-95 and his body was placed in a motor home. When the motor home was stopped the officers had reasonable suspicion so they entered the motor home and found the dead trooper on the bed. The defense tried to say that because the nice couple lived in the motor home the police had no right to enter their home, therefore the finding of the dead trooper was "fruit of a poison tree†and should be excluded from their trial for murder........NOT)

      If this had been a personal vehicle the Trooper (In SC the transport police are State Troopers) would have needed reasonable suspicion however because it was a commercial vehicle no reasonable suspicion is needed. This is just like I can't stop a personal vehicle just to check his DL and insurance card when he has done nothing wrong but I can stop a commercial vehicle when he has done nothing wrong simply to check his paperwork.

      I am a retired trooper in SC and you would not believe the amount of drugs I have found in the cab, under the sleeper of nice trucks owned or leased to major companies.

      As far as putting a dog in a vehicle, we can run a dog around the vehicle and if he hits we can place him inside for a more detailed search without a warrant or your permission.

      I suspect your # simply came up. If we only inspected the vehicles we actually thought had drugs we would be getting sued for profiling so we pad the #’s buy wasting good peoples time…..and our time that we could be out stopping those vehicles we think are criminals.
       
    • wombat4412

      wombat4412 Seasoned Expediter

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      one more question on my mind

      well that was a damm good answer after reading this i understand now but in all honestness i am dead about drugs there is not even a headache pill in my rig i guess because the load came out of mexico that is good reason i suppose ,


      one other question if i may be that bold i realislze i am a green card ( permanent res ) ok but i always was under the thought that customs, border patrol, immgration officers ) was the ONLY ones to view my green card not local or state police is that correct ??
      wombat
       
    • MDB1

      MDB1 Expert Expediter

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    • davekc
      Caffeine Fix

      davekc Senior Moderator Staff Member Fleet Owner

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      RE: one more question on my mind

      Good article with alot of gray area. Still have to wonder as in Rich's example if they wake someone up. At that point, they should be considered on duty which would be a violation.








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    • highway star

      highway star Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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      RE: one more question on my mind

      It would'nt be a violation until the resting driver started driving without the proper amount of continuous off-duty time. Having to restart the rest period would certainly mess things up. It would be easier to deal with if 5&5 were still the rule.
       
    • mhoy40

      mhoy40 Expert Expediter

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      RE: one more question on my mind

      i had this happen to me on i-40 in west memphis,ark. the officer stopped me and the truck in front of me we both met the guy at the back of our trucks logs in hand,he litterly flipped through his log pages and let him go looked me right in the face and said you can shut your truck down your going to be here awhile. he did a full scale dot level 5 truck inspection including my empty box measured the brake pads tire depth lights the whole nine yards after he got done with all that he asked me if he could shearch my cab i said is there a reason that u need to do that? with out missing a beat he went in to asking me ?,s like u ever been arrested if so for what had i ever had any drug charges dui,s stuff like that if i cuurently used pot or cocaine all of which i thought had no bearing on what was happening at that point,after we got through thar exchange he asked me again if he could search my cab which i then answerd again with a no he then replied with you know by refusing i can detain you till i have a dog come and search your cab for me i said a dog can get in and take a sniff if you so desire but without prob.cause you arent searchin a darn thing at this point we have been out there almost 2 hours he finally says grab all your paper work and come inside well while i was doing that he must have called his supervisor cause when i walked in he was on the phone he hung up when i walked in took my paper work and started typing the report in the computer no lie hen pecking the key's one letter at a time a couple of minutes later the phone rang and it must of been his boss telling him he had no cause to do what he wanted to do because after that it took about 3-4 mins and i was back on the road and i dont think he was very happy about it. the only reason i post this is i dont know legally if i was right or wrong but i had nothing to hide and i knew that and them people will do anything they please if u let them,and i personaly think they have to much power already so sometimes u just have to stand up for whats right that my home they cant come into any other home on any street in america without prob. cause and a warrant so what makes mine any different just because it rolls down the highway. }> }> }> :p
       
    • Broompilot

      Broompilot Veteran Expediter

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      RE: one more question on my mind

      I heard this on Land Line about two weeks ago.

      Once an officer ask you can I search your vehicle it is up to you. You are suppost to have a form given to you that your agreeing to the search. They will use a tactic to get around this such as I have never seen a truck like this etc.. can I come inside you just agreed to a search, or is that a GPS can I look at it you just invited him inside of your truck he can do a search.

      You must be exclusive, You may look at this but that is all. Than do not let them in until the paper has been given to you to sign.

      If asked "can we search your vehicle" ASK "what exactly are you looking for" this is a reasonable question for you to ask. Than tell them put it on paper and that is all they can look for like a weapon, drugs, etc.. If they come accross paperwork, than its hands off none of there XYZ business cause they did not ask. If they say anything or everything you have to be specific and ask again what are you looking for. Say for instance you have a knife inside next to your seat and they say "Drugs" and they find the knife they can confiscate the knife but you will not be charged cause they did not ask for it. To protect yourself it must be in writing, an accident with injury voids your right to these questions and privacy...

      Just what I heard.
       
    • Tennesseahawk
      Balanced

      Tennesseahawk Veteran Expediter

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      RE: one more question on my mind

      That brings up the point if they can search you at will, why would they have to ask in the first place? Obviously they're expecting blind cooperation on your part, because most assume either they can anyways, or they have nothing to hide. Well, I have nothing to hide, but I think I would feel a little awkward being accused of a shot in the dark.
       
    • Broompilot

      Broompilot Veteran Expediter

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      RE: one more question on my mind

      Just protect your rear, remember these words. "What EXACTLY are you looking for?" Than put it in writing..... Be Polite, the first to loose his temper is the first to..........
       
    • targuard86

      targuard86 Expert Expediter

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      RE: one more question on my mind

      Broompilot is mixing two different kinds of searches.

      If it’s a consent to search, i.e.: I ask if I can search your vehicle and you agree anything I find is fair game. Most jurisdictions have you sign something but that is not necessary according to federal law.

      If I'm searching based on reasonable suspicion I can only look where you might hide what I am looking for. Such as; a reliable informant that I have worked with in the past and has proven himself as reliable tells me you have a 4 foot X 4 foot block of dope in your truck. I now have the right to search anywhere you could hide a 4x4 bail of dope. That doesn't give me the right to open your duffle bag or go through your cooler that holds 6 drinks. But.....if the same reliable informant tells me you have a small bag of dope I have the right to look anywhere you could hide a small bag of dope. If while looking for that small bag of drugs in an area that you could hide a small bag of drugs I find a gun with the serial #'s ground off I can charge you with having that gun.
       
    • geo
      Bashful

      geo Veteran Expediter Charter Member Owner/Operator US Navy

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      RE: one more question on my mind

      this why i belong to ooida, i have a sticker on my right side and left side of the truck and the pack door, plus, my retired cpo decal on the front bumper to, they have help out alot , sometimes at the naval station norfolk at truck control dot troopers will come and inspect truck's as they have a nice area to inspect truck's and it is a safe place to do it and not along the side of the road
      a few times they have pass me by and pull the truck behind over as he wasn't a ooida memeber
       
    • targuard86

      targuard86 Expert Expediter

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      RE: one more question on my mind

      I bet 99% of the police officers don't have a clue what OOIDA is.
       
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