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Old 10-02-06, 03:50 AM   #1
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Cop says "don't know, don't care..." re. DUI (DWI) laws

In case our US friends are unaware, here in Oz we have 'random breath test' operations where the cops set up on the side of the road and pull over vehichles in batches for testing, they don't stop everyone but randomly keep 'topping up' the que of drivers waiting to be tested, you're rarely waiting more than 15 or 20 seconds. It's like a temporary drive-thru setup.

So there I was, riding home when I came upon a roadside RBT operation and was the last vehichle in the batch being pulled over. The officer pulling us over looked at me kind of amused that I was there. There were 3 officers doing the actual testing, when the tester saw me she started lauging and gesturing at the one that does the pulling over as if to say 'what's this?' She then says to me "just go", I asked "don't the drink driving laws apply to cycists?" knowing that they in fact do. She says while still laughing "I don't know, I don't really care, don't worry about it"

Its not like she was busy since I was the last vehichle in the line and she had already tested the one in front of me. I rode on left with the distinct feeling that I was not seen by any of the officers as a legitimate vehichle regardless of the fact that I was operating in a totally vehichular fashion. It seems that cycling advocacy really has a long way to go here. It also explains the apathy I've come up against when trying to report road rage incidents to the police.
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Old 10-02-06, 08:03 AM   #2
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I don't think they even thought about whether you were a vehicle or not or about treating you as a vehicle.

Drunk driving is so dangerous because of the effect your drunk driving has on innocent bystanders. You get drunk, get into a car and then kill someone because the car is a very lethal weapon in the hands of a drunk.

A drunk on a bicycle is very unlikely to cause injury to innocent bystanders, so the cops don't worry about drunk cyclists.

They were doing right in going after the people who could cause damage and not worrying about those who can't.

Would you get upset at airport security if they laughed and waived you on? Would you say "Hey, I'm not being seen as a legitimate air traveler, search me!"
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Old 10-02-06, 08:08 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by San Rensho
Would you get upset at airport security if they laughed and waived you on?
Yes, I would, actually. Think about it...
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Old 10-02-06, 09:20 AM   #4
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Well, considering I have brown skin and curly brown hair, I think I would get searched at the airport. A friend from israel told me that I would have no trouble getting shot coming out of any home in his country. What a wonderful thought.

And yes, I think they should have tested you, since they had the time and you really wanted it.
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Old 10-02-06, 09:31 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho
Drunk driving is so dangerous because of the effect your drunk driving has on innocent bystanders. ... They were doing right in going after the people who could cause damage and not worrying about those who can't. ...
Spot-on.
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Old 10-02-06, 09:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho
Would you get upset at airport security if they laughed and waived you on? Would you say "Hey, I'm not being seen as a legitimate air traveler, search me!"
You make a good point, but this is a bad analogy. The last few times I've flown I've gone nutz on the TSA guy who checked my id against my boarding pass without ever looking at my face. We should expect and demand security from these guys.

OP: she should have run the test on you. It takes 10 s. and who knows you might have been drunk. Plain old laziness.
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Old 10-02-06, 10:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho
I don't think they even thought about whether you were a vehicle or not or about treating you as a vehicle.

Drunk driving is so dangerous because of the effect your drunk driving has on innocent bystanders. You get drunk, get into a car and then kill someone because the car is a very lethal weapon in the hands of a drunk.

A drunk on a bicycle is very unlikely to cause injury to innocent bystanders, so the cops don't worry about drunk cyclists.

They were doing right in going after the people who could cause damage and not worrying about those who can't.

Would you get upset at airport security if they laughed and waived you on? Would you say "Hey, I'm not being seen as a legitimate air traveler, search me!"

That is an excellent arguement.

What I am doing is not as bad as what you are doing.
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Old 10-02-06, 10:43 AM   #8
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One other thing that might have played a part is that a bike rider is not on a seat behind a door. If riding with any kind of clip system they have to do a couple of things that require a lot more co-ordination than a typical field sobriety test. Even just platforms requires putting the foot down and balancing the bike.

In short it is much easier to tell by simple observation.
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Old 10-02-06, 01:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Keith99
One other thing that might have played a part is that a bike rider is not on a seat behind a door. If riding with any kind of clip system they have to do a couple of things that require a lot more co-ordination than a typical field sobriety test. Even just platforms requires putting the foot down and balancing the bike.

In short it is much easier to tell by simple observation.
+1
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Old 10-02-06, 01:24 PM   #10
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It also explains the apathy I've come up against when trying to report road rage incidents to the police.
How? What is the connection?
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Old 10-02-06, 01:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cooker
Yes, I would, actually. Think about it...
[Begin slightly off topic comment]

I was flying home from Jamaica a few years ago when I went through the metal detector thingy and set it off. I immediately remembered that I had left my watch on. I pulled back my sleeve and showed the security lady my watch, shrugged my shoulders and gave her my oops face. She smiled at me and waved me through - WITHOUT having me take the watch off and go back through the metal detector.

Let's just say I was pretty nervious about the state of security and air travel for the flight home.

[/resume on topic discussion.]
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Old 10-02-06, 01:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adiankur
Well, considering I have brown skin and curly brown hair, I think I would get searched at the airport. A friend from israel told me that I would have no trouble getting shot coming out of any home in his country. What a wonderful thought.
You may be disappointed. I am frequently mistaken for being from the Middle East. As you can imagine, this gets negative attention from a certain type of person. Years ago, I got searched everywhere I went -- I even warned my wife about this when we got married since I didn't want her to be scared.

I fly quite a bit (most recently to the UK immediately after the liquid bomb scare), but I rarely get searched now. Most people have figured out it's both ineffective and stupid to put so much weight on a factor such as skin color. I believe they look for behavior now. If you want to be searched, use nonverbal cues to convey attitude. If you really want attention, ignore a simple instruction because you think it's dumb or crack a joke.

On the other hand, if you act like everyone else and look like you're hoping you will be searched, they'll leave you alone. The people they want to find do not want the attention of the authorities.
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Old 10-02-06, 02:11 PM   #13
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OP: she wasn't playing down your status as a vehicle...she was hitting on you! Go back and get her number...she has handcuffs!

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Old 10-02-06, 02:37 PM   #14
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This is off-topic but I have to say, I don't think the police should be allowed to do random sobriety checks. They should have to have cause for suspicion first. Furthermore, it doesn't make me feel any safer on the road to know that they are doing it. So maybe they find some people who have been drinking. So what? The vast majority of those people were probably driving safely anyway. Those cops should be wandering around looking for criminal activity, not standing in one place hoping that criminal activity will come to them.
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Old 10-02-06, 03:55 PM   #15
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I think some of you are missing the point. I didn't want to be tested although I was sober, I just wanted to be recognised as a legitimate vehichle. The getting on a flight analogy doesn't work, I'd be very concerned knowing that some passengers weren't checked properly, and I wouldn't get through in a million years since I'm what you would call 'of middle eastern appearance'.
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Old 10-02-06, 03:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chemcycle
How? What is the connection?
If you're not perceived as a legitimate road vehichle, you're not treated as a legitimate road user.
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