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“The police officer had no reason to follow me when he saw me pull out of a bar, and cannot run my tag without reason.”

Even though it doesn’t seem fair for a police officer to be allowed to wait for a person to drive away from a bar, follow that person, and then stop the person for driving in a manner that makes the officer think the person is ill, injured or impaired (or really just impaired or why else would the officer wait until the person left the bar), it still isn’t entrapment when the person is arrested for DUI.

And even when the three illusory I-words or buzzwords10 found on every officers’ cheat sheet (right along with such other fraternal favorites as: training & experience, spontaneous utterance, furtive movements, bulge, plain view, Officer safety, and odor of cannabis) do not exist, a police officer can still pull up behind any automobile for no reason and run its tag number.

And if the tag comes back registered to a person with a suspended license, or no driver’s license, the officer can make a lawful stop.11 Unless of course it is obvious that the person driving the car does not match the description of the owner.12 However, the officer does not have to try to confirm this prior to the stop, but if after the stop as the officer is approaching the vehicle he realizes the driver is obviously not the registered owner, then all the officer can do is make personal contact with the driver to explain the reason for the stop.13The officer cannot ask to see the person’s driver’s license14 or in any other way continue to detain the person, unless as the officer approaches he observes one of the aforementioned buzzwords15 or recognizes the person as being on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, having an active warrant16 or suspended license, and the information is not stale.17

Speed traps are not entrapment, either.  Police officers can hide at night with their lights out in an unmarked vehicle to catch a person speeding.

These myths besides finding their basis for truth in the fourth amendment and entrapment also find their basis for truth in the belief that the police are not allowed to use trickery and deception to enforce the law.  But as long as the police do not take it too far, trickery and deception are allowed.18

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