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Old 10-01-2012, 03:58   #46
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 355
Originally Posted by Gunnut 45/454 View Post
Yea thats what I thought as well -had to do it for a DUI that almost rear ended me- and I called in to report it- unfortunately the LEO didn't see them weaving all over the road- they caught up to them at the Quick mart and I had to fill out a statement- they never called me to testify though! I don't know what WY law say on this? But as Dragoon said they can stop you on a verbale I guess! Guy should have just heard the LEO's out- told them no that wasn't me or Yes I legally passed those vehicle so what? Then the officer would have done what? Can't site or arrest without observing the crime! I highly doupt the RVers stuck around or made a statement.
I don't want to be misunderstood. If I get called on a speeder in "X" vehicle, I'm not going to stop him unless I actually observe him speeding.Speeding is hard to prove unless you have been through RADAR/LIDAR training and get good at estimating speeds. We have to be consistent within 5mph before getting certified. Our vehicles have certified speedometers, and our equipment (RADAR/LIDAR) has to be checked/calibrated. I don't think I would give a ticket out to someone based on joe plumber's theory the guy was simply speeding. If a citizen approaches me and points out a car, says the driver is reckless, articulates the reckless driving/behavior, and wants to prosecute, then I don't have a problem writing out a traffic citation and allowing the reporting party to sign it. All moving violations in TN are misdemeanors. That's not the same for other states.

DUIs and other crimes can be a little different. DUIs are one of those where an officer doesn't have to witness to arrest (just like domestic assault). State laws can vary though. In TN (where I am), citizen reports without me observing the erratic driving can be enough to stop a DUI offender, but every situation is different (and very fact-based). If a citizen gives an accurate description of travel, the vehicle, the driving observed, and I catch up within a reasonable time, I can stop without corroborating.

If I just get a report of a blue vehicle driving bad on "x" road, I would try to get some of my own evidence before stopping.

Bottom line, it's about knowing the law and specifically what the courts in my state have said when it comes to the issue at hand.

As far as what to do with a motorcycle rider, it's up to the individual officer. I was not trained to leave him on the bike. It's a totality of circumstances approach. Obviously if I think he might run, he's coming off of it. According to SCOTUS we have the right to control occupants of any vehicle during a traffic stop. How we do so can vary from stop to stop.
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