Thursday, February 16, 2012

DUI Checkpoints: Your Rights and Some ideas

You are out and about going somewhere on a weekend night and all a sudden traffic starts backing up.  There is no reason traffic should be this busy so you start wondering...Is there a wreck?  Then it hits you when you see all the cop cars.  Your stuck in a DUI checkpoint.

Now there are a couple of ways to handle this.  If you haven't been drinking then its just a big inconvenience, your going to have to sit in line and be late to whatever your going to.  If you have been drinking then your heart just sank.  You have some decisions to make.

But here are some things to consider.
1. You only have to provide insurance information (on demand) and identification for yourself and the vehicle.
2. You don't have to answer questions.
3. Not speaking, could cause the police to hassle you more.
4. You don't have to consent to any search.
5. Before the police can make you take any sobriety tests they need probable cause to believe you are under the influence.

Lets take a look at some reactions to people trying different methods of handling a DUI Checkpoint.
Refusal to Speak:

Now these officers did it correctly. They had no probable cause to believe the driver had been drinking. He didn't slur his speech. He must not have been showing physical signs of being drunk, and he didn't say that he had drank any alcohol. So they let him go.

Here is someone that took the test when they should not have.

If you are drunk please don't make it more difficult on your attorney and consent to a field sobriety test. If you are in Kansas just say no thank you. You don't have to take the field sobriety test. There is no negative consequence to not taking them.  Remember I am not talking about Breathalyzer Test.  Refusing to take a Breathalyzer test has negative consequences on your license.

Lastly, remember not every police officer plays it by the book. What an officer should do and what they actually do can often be two different things.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Couple arrested in Kansas with over 109 pounds of Cocaine!

Looks like an Arizona couple were arrested in Shawnee County on possession with intent to distribute over 5 lbs of cocaine.  Turns out they had about 109lbs of Cocaine in their possession.  Just to get an idea of the street value of that much cocaine look at the breakdown.

109 lbs = about 50 Kilograms
1 Kilogram = 1000 Grams
1 Gram = About $60

So 1000 Grams = $60,000
50 Kilograms = about $3,000,000

This is all assuming that the Cocaine has already been cut for street level use.  If it is high quality (uncut) then the cost could be nearly double the $3,000,000 estimate.

Here is the short article in the Casa Grande Dispatch. (An Arizona Newspaper)

TOPEKA, Kan. — A Casa Grande man and woman were arrested Feb. 2 in Shawnee County, Kan., with 109 pounds of cocaine.

Juan Luis Diaz, 48, of the 21700 block of West Arica Road, and Rosa Amelia Ramirez-Gomez, 50, of the 1800 block of North Casa Grande Avenue were taken into custody by the Kansas Highway Patrol. Both were booked into the Shawnee County jail on one charge each of possession with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine.

If convicted, Diaz and Ramirez-Gomez face between 10 years and life in prison and a fine up to $10 million. The Drug Enforcement Administration is handling the investigation and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard is the prosecutor.