A few hours ago at about 3 AM in the morning I got pulled over due to pulling out of a gas station with my headlights off.(I believe my daylights were on because it is a new car and they are always on but they may have not been bright enough so I don't know if you can use them as a substitution or not.)
The sheriff's deputy pulled me over and asked for ID and insurance. I was very polite although I refuse to call anyone sir.
He came back and asked if I had been drinking or doing drugs or anything like that. I said no in a very matter of a fact way because I've never drank alcohol or used any drugs unless you count the extremely dangerous Ritalin and Paxil(not approved for children by the FDA by the way) that I was prescribed as a nine year old kid in the late '90s.
He told me to turn off the car and go to the back of the car. He didn't give me any DUI test or anything because I'm pretty sure he knew it would be a waste of time seeing as I didn't even remotely look or seem under the influence other than life.
Instead he rubbed his hands all over me and gave me a creepy massage.
Or in other words he searched me for weapons.
I don't believe he asked me if he could do this, but I'm pretty sure they don't need probable cause for that under the law. I just went ahead with it for my own safety so that he would feel comfortable and not get an itchy tazer finger.
I'm sure you can guess what happened next. He asked the big search question. "I need to take a look in your car. Alright?" He asked it like it wasn't a big deal at all. I believe I asked him why and he said to search for anything illegal. I said I wasn't very comfortable with that and wasn't sure. He said if you don't I'm just going to call the K-9 unit down and he will alert and they will search and tear it up.(yes that is almost exactly how he said it. This adds to the theory that they can make the dog alert whenever they want to search a car.)
Now I didn't plan to get pulled over so I wasn't up for a big hassle. My day job is also licensed through the city(even though it's a private company) so I don't think it would have been worth losing my job especially if they decided to plant anything in the car due to maybe being mad for me refusing. I plan to some day get to the point where I don't have to work for anybody else, but for right now that is where I'm at because a movie podcast and a movie blog don't exactly earn me a living.
Anyway he searched the trunk and the rest of the car and of course found nothing. I should note that he didn't search very hard and my only guess for why is because he was pretty sure I had no drugs or weapons. While he was searching it he asked me why I was so hesitant to let him search. I kind of went speechless for a good twenty seconds and had to realize that most people don't think in the Voluntaryist/libertarian way of thinking like I do. I basically said I just don't like the idea of my property being searched or something like that. And then of course he came back with the line that they always come back with in this conversation.If you don't have anything to hide or anything illegal in the car you don't have anything to worry about.
I just kind of shrugged that off because even though he was somewhat polite the whole time I couldn't really get a read on what he might do in an argument. He didn't seem all that old(maybe five to eight years older than me at the most. I'm 24) and I know from research that it is usually the younger cops that you have to watch out for more often than not because for some reason they are just more likely to go off.
At this point I was pretty much just ready to leave and didn't feel comfortable getting into an in depth conversation with him about why I don't like searches. I pretty much know exactly how that conversation would have gone anyway. If I had been recording it I would have gone into the conversation just to show people the bullcrap they try to use to justify searches. I chose not to record however, because I didn't know how he would react to it and I was afraid he would try to arrest me which would probably get me fired from my job even if the charges are completely dropped.
So do you guys think I should have done anything differently? I was a little nervous while talking to him although I don't think the cop noticed that at all. I'm thinking he either didn't write me a ticket for the headlights because the day lights are good enough or because I was really nice to him.(I can't help it, I get along with people really easily.
I'm thinking about getting a freedomCam but I'm not sure just because I don't get pulled over all that often. This is the first time I've been pulled over in about a year. I drive a 2012 car and it's black so I don't think I fall under their radar all that well except for maybe looking a little younger than my actual age.
My biggest alert(see what I did there?) about this encounter is the fact that they really just want to search anyone's car whenever they want to. He could clearly see that I wasn't under the influence and I don't believe that headlights not being on is a good enough probable cause for him to search. In fact I know it wasn't because he threatened to have the K9 unit brought out and they usually only do that if they know they don't have probable cause.