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dc8driver
04-14-2009, 11:23 AM
I was on a roadtrip the other day, and noticed a checkpoint (it was on I75, entering or leaving Florida, I believe) The checkpoint was for agriculture/horticulture, and the signs directed all commercial, rental trucks, trailers, etc. into this checkpoint.

My question is, If I were pulling my own personal trailer (it is a race car hauler) down the interstate, and entered the checkpoint, (don't remember the exact wording on the signs, but from what I interpreted from them, ALL trucks wre required to stop), would I be required to open the trailer for inspection?? It is my own personal vehicle. not commercial. I would think that I would have fouth amdmt. privledges, would I not? I don't beleive that implied consent is in efffect here, as I believe that it applies only at customs checkpoints, not interstate ones.

Just wondering.. I certainly don't have anything to hide, but just not entirely clear on what my rights are, either thanks

PhilipCal
04-14-2009, 11:44 AM
I was on a roadtrip the other day, and noticed a checkpoint (it was on I75, entering or leaving Florida, I believe) The checkpoint was for agriculture/horticulture, and the signs directed all commercial, rental trucks, trailers, etc. into this checkpoint.

My question is, If I were pulling my own personal trailer (it is a race car hauler) down the interstate, and entered the checkpoint, (don't remember the exact wording on the signs, but from what I interpreted from them, ALL trucks wre required to stop), would I be required to open the trailer for inspection?? It is my own personal vehicle. not commercial. I would think that I would have fouth amdmt. privledges, would I not? I don't beleive that implied consent is in efffect here, as I believe that it applies only at customs checkpoints, not interstate ones.

Just wondering.. I certainly don't have anything to hide, but just not entirely clear on what my rights are, either thanks

I'm not going to enter into a lengthy or drawn out explanation of your rights in the situation you describe. Generally, you would be required to allow an inspection of your vehicle/trailer if the Officer requested it. The inspection is for the agricultural articles you referenced. Each year, I drive to California. Shortly after entering the state, I encounter an Agricultural Inspection Station. I don't recall it ever NOT being there. At these stations, all vehicles are subject to inspection, not only trucks. Certainly, you could refuse to have your vehicle inspected. Should you choose that option, be prepared to be there for awhile. The authority of the state(s) involved to inspect is well established in law.

skigoggles
04-14-2009, 12:45 PM
Pull over and ask the guys at the checkpoint.

PhilipCal
04-14-2009, 01:31 PM
Pull over and ask the guys at the checkpoint.

Simple as it sounds, it's really great advice. Often times, the Officer will wave you through the check point. However, if he requires you to stop, play the game. Chances are, you'll be on your way in no time.

2wheeldep
04-14-2009, 02:58 PM
The Ag inspections are very important at keeping harmful pest's from being transported from state to state. Leaving Hawaii, at the airport, you have to go thru an Ag inspection. Nobody is exempt.

I do a lot of boating at lake Mead, outside of LV, NV and have to pass thru the Ag inspection, on my way back to LA, I get flagged every time I'm going thru with my boat. Is it a pain in the butt, you bet. But I also know the importance of the inspection.

L-1
04-14-2009, 03:31 PM
I'm going to bet that with a large agricultural industry, Florida has enacted laws similar to California.

Under California law, all plant material is quarantined and prohibited from importation into the state until it is inspected by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, The purpose is to prevent the introduction of agricultural pests that are common in other states and which could harm California's agricultural system. Food and Ag has a huge chart of what plants and seeds are prohibited, depending on the state they originated from. To this end, California has erected plant quarantine inspection stations along major highways at its borders to inspect arriving vehicles. Whether you get inspected usually depends on where you say you have been or what state your license plate is from. If you are coming from a quarantined state, odds are they will take a peek through you car looking for a rogue tomato or Mediterranean fruit fly.

In California, It is unlawful for the operator of any vehicle to fail to stop at an inspection station or to willfully avoid an inspection station. It is also unlawful for the operator to fail to stop either upon demand of a clearly identified plant quarantine officer or upon demand of an officer of the California Highway Patrol, when the officer orders the operator to stop for the purpose of determining whether any quarantine which is established pursuant to any provision of this division is being violated. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor and grounds for the vehicle to be stopped for inspection.

KapsFB
04-14-2009, 03:34 PM
Back in 1989, I was helping a friend of mine drive his car out to Vegas where he was relocating. It was my and I believe his, first trip out west. While going through Arizona, we saw in the distance, in the middle of the desert, a very large what looked like a toll booth over the interstate. Road was deserted and this monstrosity loomed ahead of us for several miles. Closer we got, the larger it became. No where to go but right into it.

We slowed down. My buddy was driving, I'm in the passenger seat. Neither one of us knew WTH this thing was. East coast boys not familiar with anything like it. Slowed down as we approached. Guy comes out with what looked like a US Park Ranger uniform. We stop in the sallyport still not knowing WTF was going on.

Mr Ranger, very nice gentleman, politely asks in a combination Andy Griffith/Dennis Weaver twang "Good afternoon. Y'all have any fruits or nuts you want to declare?"

:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:

Seriously thinking this was a joke of some sort, we start laughing. My buddy says "Yeah, I'm a fruit and he's a nut". He starts driving away slowly.

HALT!!! HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!

:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

It suddenly dawned on our two dumbarses this was apparently not a joking matter. I now take note this is an armed Park Ranger. Full LEO.

oops? :o

Needless to say, Mr Ranger wasn't to thrilled with our reply. In no uncertain terms we are read the riot act to include the seriousness of such inspections and if we persisted in not taking this matter to heart, we could be there for a long time while the car was emptied out and subject to a search rivaling a body scan.

Thank God for "Badge America" (never leave home without it); some quick sucking up apologies; and our tale of my buddy relocating to work for Vegas Metro PD (which was in fact the truth).

My education regarding interstate commerce transportation enforcement was thus gained. So go ahead. Challenge the validity of such roadside inspections. Unless I ever plan on a career change requiring the transport of large quanities of contraband, I'll simply reply "Why go ahead....be my guest".

skigoggles
04-14-2009, 04:14 PM
Simple as it sounds, it's really great advice. Often times, the Officer will wave you through the check point. However, if he requires you to stop, play the game. Chances are, you'll be on your way in no time.

Right, and I didn't even say it to be sarcastic or smartassed.
Each weigh station, port of entry, checkpoint will have different restrictions, regulations, guidelines etc etc.

To the original poster: Regarding having a 4th ammendment right, if you do have to pull into one of the check points let them know that. Or you could just let them look and be on your way in 5 or so minutes. But hey, you know your rights and how to exercise them better than I do.

SgtCHP
04-14-2009, 04:34 PM
I am certain you can find the information you are seeking in this site:

http://www.fl-aglaw.com/bus/bus.html

Florida AgLAWS require you to stop and submit. A refusal to comply may result in action being taken that you will be less than happy with in the end.

TexasAggieOfc
04-14-2009, 05:13 PM
I'm going to bet that with a large agricultural industry, Florida has enacted laws similar to California.

Under California law, all plant material is quarantined and prohibited from importation into the state until it is inspected by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, The purpose is to prevent the introduction of agricultural pests that are common in other states and which could harm California's agricultural system. Food and Ag has a huge chart of what plants and seeds are prohibited, depending on the state they originated from. To this end, California has erected plant quarantine inspection stations along major highways at its borders to inspect arriving vehicles. Whether you get inspected usually depends on where you say you have been or what state your license plate is from. If you are coming from a quarantined state, odds are they will take a peek through you car looking for a rogue tomato or Mediterranean fruit fly.
Strange, Cali's Ag department seemed to leave Cannabis off that list of seeds and plants

dc8driver
04-14-2009, 08:51 PM
Thanks for the replys, guys. I posted this question just for my own FYI. I guess my question is more of a legal one than traffic enforcement.

Like I said, nothing to hide, and I am aware of the importance of the need to keep our ecosystem balanced. (via ag inspections) Guess I didn't realize that states have the same rights to inspect you as the US customs and Immigration does as you enter the country.

dc8driver
04-14-2009, 11:27 PM
That is correct, nothing to hide. My question is a hypothetical one. I'm not saying I wouldn't consent to a search, I was trying to ascertain if I was obligated to open my vehicle.

Maybe you can help me answer my question better if I restate it in another context.

Consider the following scenario:
you happen upon an ag checpoint. Officer asks you if you mind if he looks in your trailer (private vehicle,not semi truck). You say go ahead. now he finds something deemed illegal, whatever it may be. If he presses charges against you, would the evidence be admissible? it was an ag insp. initially, but you consented to him looking, which (I think) would make anything and everything he finds fair game in court. Is this correct?

I hope you see where I'm going with this-in the above scenario, if the subject had NOT consented to the officer looking in his vehicle, would anything found in the vehicle that was illegal, but NOT associated with ag/horticulture be admissible in court??

ateamer
04-15-2009, 12:36 AM
Strange, Cali's Ag department seemed to leave Cannabis off that list of seeds and plants

That's 'cause the best marihoochie is grown in CA - it's an export product. Smuggling it in would be like importing beef to Texas, or bringing corn into Nebraska, or liberals to Massachusetts.

GoRavens1224
04-15-2009, 02:58 AM
4th amendment doesnt apply on this situation in my opinion. I would deem these inspections 'random' so the 4th amendment doesnt apply. Just like if you go to the airport and they are conducting random vehicle inspections. It is posted that if you go further you are subject to search.

Whatever they find is fair game. You submitted to the search therefore everything is admissable.

2wheeldep
04-15-2009, 10:05 AM
At a DUI/seatbelt/what ever they call it check point's the state has to put up several signs indicating check point ahead, with another route for a motorist to avoid the check point. I still don't know how LE catches any DUI's from the check points the motorist has many options to avoid these check point's.

At a check point, it still comes down to the officers observation of the driver and can the officer articulate the objective symptoms of a DUI driver. The motorist does not give up any of his 4th amendment rights by going through a check point.

blackhorse
04-15-2009, 10:38 AM
At a DUI/seatbelt/what ever they call it check point's the state has to put up several signs indicating check point ahead, with another route for a motorist to avoid the check point. I still don't know how LE catches any DUI's from the check points the motorist has many options to avoid these check point's.

At a check point, it still comes down to the officers observation of the driver and can the officer articulate the objective symptoms of a DUI driver. The motorist does not give up any of his 4th amendment rights by going through a check point.

I'm going to assume your speaking about Kalifornia Law. Certainly not Louisiana Law. At our checkpoints we put them where they can't detour around and we set chase cars at both ends of our points for those that stop and turn around.

redbird07
04-15-2009, 09:48 PM
Cooperation is such a valuable attitude. It keeps you out of a multitude of hassles. If you have nothing to hide, suck it up and play the game. I never have anything to hide and I always cooperate. Never have had a problem.

L-1
04-15-2009, 10:40 PM
I don't know how it is now,but a few years ago I asked one of the California Food and Ag Inspectors what happened if someone refused a search. They said it wasn't that big of a deal. The vehicle was simply deemed to be quarantined and had to turn around and leave the state.

Now, if this happened on the Arizona border, there was an Arizona inspection station waiting for the vehicle on the other side of the state line. The driver in question was going to spend the rest of his life living in his car, between inspection stations, until he submitted to a search at one of them.

dc8driver
04-16-2009, 01:36 AM
Thanks for the post,L-1. after more research, I believe you are 100% correct on you summary. Fourth is in effect, but could cause a slight headache to not consent.

redbird, I agree with you as well--almost.
Just please don't confuse someone exercising their rights with being uncooperative. I'vwe always played the game without any problems also; HOWEVER, When I'm on the road with my family in the motorhome, that is our house, as far as i'm concerned. AG checkpoint, no problem, have a look. DUI checkpint, no problem, I'll answer all your questions. But if someone wants to rifle through our things just for a 'fishing trip', welll, thats where I have a problem. No different than if I showed up at your door and asked if you would mind me looking through your house. I'm sure I know what the answer would be.

GatorPD
04-16-2009, 05:22 AM
They are technically not "checkpoints" by legal definition, they are rather "points of inspection".

Any vehicle described on the sign (or any vehicle carrying agriculture, horticulture, or aquaculture if I remember correctly) must stop and submit to inspection. Generally speaking, they do not actually inspect every vehicle that passes through, it's usually more of a "are you carrying any agriculture, horticulture, or aquaculture" "no" "have a good day" sort of thing (or "yes" and they follow up with a couple more questions then move you along). Their admin isn't big on them going on "fishing expeditions" looking for bags of pot in your glovebox. If anything, they are going to glance around for those 20 bags of oranges (without tax stamps) you have tucked in the back.

However, if you are carrying any of the specified items, you are by virtue of carrying said items, subject to inspection to verify compliance with state agriculture laws (i.e. not smuggling tomatoes or oranges... those are biggies in Florida).

They are also permitted to conduct an INSPECTION (not a "search") to determine if you are carrying said items, if you state that you are not and they have reason to believe you are (again, must have reason to believe you are... they can't just randomly inspect any vehicle they choose).

And the AgLaw cops near the state line are generally pretty good about catching people who bypass the station if they aren't overly busy. That's why there's a line of 5-10 police cars, per side of the highway, sitting ready for people to jump in then and run you down... and I've seen it done.

--- and here's the statute for Florida ---

570.15 Access to places of business and vehicles.--
(1)(a) Any duly authorized employee of the department shall have full access at all reasonable hours to inspect:
1. All:
g. Motor vehicles, except private passenger automobiles with no trailer in tow, travel trailers, camping trailers, van conversions, and motor homes as defined in s. 320.01(1)(b), or pickup trucks not carrying agricultural, horticultural, or livestock products and which have visible access to the entire cargo area, or city, county, state, or federal vehicles;
h. Truck and motor vehicle trailers; and

which are used or could be used in the production, manufacture, storage, sale, or transportation within the state of any food product; any agricultural, horticultural, or livestock product; or any article or product with respect to which any authority is conferred by law on the department; and

(b) The department may examine and open any package or container of any kind containing or believed to contain any article or product which may be transported, manufactured, sold, or offered for sale in violation of the provisions of this chapter, the rules of the department, or the laws which the department enforces and may inspect the contents and take samples for analysis.

(c) If access is refused by the owner, agent, manager, or other person in charge of any premises, or by the owner, driver, operator, or other person in charge of any vehicle, the department employee may apply for, obtain, and execute a search warrant for regulatory inspection under the provisions of this section and ss. 933.20-933.30. The provisions of chapter 933 relating to probable cause do not apply to regulatory inspections under this section. Routine inspections of vehicles shall be conducted in accordance with the administrative standards, including neutral criteria, for conducting these inspections set forth by rules of the department.

(2) It is unlawful for the driver of any vehicle, other than one exempted in sub-subparagraph (1)(a)1.g. or one authorized pursuant to subsection (5), to pass any official agricultural inspection station without first stopping and submitting the vehicle for inspection. A violation of this subsection constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(3) Every law enforcement officer is authorized to assist employees of the department in the enforcement of this section. Every law enforcement officer is authorized to stop and detain any vehicle and its driver if the driver has failed to comply with this section until an employee of the department arrives to conduct the inspection required or permitted by law. The law enforcement officer may require the driver to return with the vehicle to the agricultural inspection station where the driver failed to stop the vehicle for inspection.

(4) No civil or criminal liability shall be imposed upon any person who is authorized to enforce or assist in enforcement of the provisions of this section and who is lawfully engaged in such activity.

(5) The department shall establish by rule conditions and criteria by which nonagricultural laden vehicles may pass an agricultural inspection station without stopping for inspection.

dc8driver
04-16-2009, 02:49 PM
Good info, thanks gator!!

pbragg
04-16-2009, 04:19 PM
At a DUI/seatbelt/what ever they call it check point's the state has to put up several signs indicating check point ahead, with another route for a motorist to avoid the check point. I still don't know how LE catches any DUI's from the check points the motorist has many options to avoid these check point's.

At a check point, it still comes down to the officers observation of the driver and can the officer articulate the objective symptoms of a DUI driver. The motorist does not give up any of his 4th amendment rights by going through a check point.

When a drunk decides not to take the "chicken route" should be proof enough of impairment...at least stupidity.

pbragg
04-16-2009, 04:36 PM
I'm going to assume your speaking about Kalifornia Law. Certainly not Louisiana Law. At our checkpoints we put them where they can't detour around and we set chase cars at both ends of our points for those that stop and turn around.

That's wild. In Ohio the fact there will be a checkpoint must be published the week of the planned point in the general area where it will be and then it is published the day of where it will be. Then at the check point we post a sign where there is a way to detour around the check point. If the person still proceeds through the point there is no 4th Amendment issues.

Has there been any court cases in Louisina to contest 4th Amend protection? I thought the type of check point we do was in compliance with case law from the Federal Supreme Court.

SgtCHP
04-16-2009, 08:08 PM
CA also requires written publication of the forthcoming checkpoint(s). The only information that must be posted is the date, time and agency. The location remains unknown until it is set up!!! CA law also requires and escape route and a minimum of 200 feet prior warning just in case a driver does not wish to participate. Ah, but that action may draw the attention of certain patrol units nearby.

pbragg
04-17-2009, 12:02 AM
Amazing how that happens..almost magical.