Highway Patrol- Violator Interview

More fun with my new copy of the Highway Patrol Operations Manual. I blogged earlier about how to handle a DPS/police request for a consent search during a traffic stop.

Here is what DPS has to say on the subject. This is what they are supposed to be doing during a traffic stop.

05 .01 Troopers will follow the seven-step violator interview unless circumstances exist that make the use extraneous or nonapplicable.
The steps will be used in the following order :
1 . Greeting and identification of the agency
2. Statement of violation committed
3. Identification of driver and check of conditions of violator
and vehicle
4 . Statement of action to be taken
5 . Take action stated
6 . Explain what violator must do
7 . Leave

Hmmmm….. Some important steps are missing. Having viewed more than a few DPS traffic stops let me offer a more realistic “violator interview” protocol.

Violator Interview
1. Only stop vehicles you believe may have drugs in them. Try not to racially profile, but profile every other way you can.
2. After the stop think of a reason to justify said stop. If all else fails, allege the license plate light was not bright enough, or speeding.
3. Run the DL license and pray for an outstanding ticket warrant. If a warrant comes back arrest driver and start digging through the car!
4. If no warrant, pull the driver and passengers out of the car. Get into “good cop” character and ask if they have any hand grenades, dead bodies or drugs in car. Ignore yes answers on dead bodies or grenades, ask about drugs again. Remember, there is no War on Dead Bodies, or War on Hand Grenades. This is a drug war and you are the front line to stop consenting adults from using, selling, or possessing drugs! Finally, Mirandize no one, lest they realize they have the right to not answer these questions.
5. No confession? Ask for consent to search. Threaten to call out drug dog.
6. If permission is denied, ask again, but louder.
7. No consent? Consider writing a ticket, calling out the trained-to-alert drug dog, or arresting someone for no seat belt (Lago Vista).
8. Write a ticket, arrest, and/or search.

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