RS not required for traffic stop to conduct DOT inspection?

Discussion in 'Trucker Legal Advice' started by RockinChair, May 5, 2017.

  1. RockinChair

    RockinChair Road Train Member

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    Hi. I was recently pulled over by a Texas State Trooper, and after identifying herself and her agency, she stated "the reason for this stop is a DOT inspection."

    I remember from my time in the academy that reasonable suspicion is required in order for a peace officer to initiate a traffic stop.

    Being that a traffic stop is considered a seizure for 4th Amendment purposes, how can a peace officer lawfully initiate a traffic stop for the sole purpose of conducting a DOT inspection if no violations were observed prior to the stop?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Heritage11

    Heritage11 Light Load Member

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    I don't think this really equates to a traffic stop. You're in a commercial vehicle and as such subject to inspection at any time.

    I've had 2 like that in the last 7 years. One in Al and one in NC. Both times they said 'you weren't doing anything wrong, this is just a random inspection.'

    Level 2 both times. At least the NC guy had the sense to follow me for 8 miles where we both knew there was a place to pull off before he stopped me. The one in Al pulled me on a 2 lane with barely enough room to get off the road.
     
  3. RockinChair

    RockinChair Road Train Member

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    What is the legal basis for this statement?
     
  4. DustyRoad

    DustyRoad Road Train Member

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    It's called a random inspection to determine it the driver and the vehicle is compliant and following the rules of the USDOT whereas each state has its own authority to conduct routine inspections at weigh stations or roadside. As for the 4th amendment, it doesn't apply to a CMV driver or vehicle operating on public roads. You have limited rights as a CDL holder. You can refuse to comply and get put out of service, suspended or fines, then possible have to see a judge to get your licence reinstated in the state which the violation occurred.
     
  5. RockinChair

    RockinChair Road Train Member

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    Again, what is the legal basis for this statement? If there is case law stating as much, I want to read the court's ruling.
     
  6. DustyRoad

    DustyRoad Road Train Member

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    49 U.S. Code ยง 31142 - Inspection of vehicles


    Inspection To Be Accepted as Adequate in All States.โ€”

    A periodic inspection of a commercial motor vehicle under the Government standards prescribed under subsection (b) of this section or a program described in subsection (c)(1)(B) or (C) of this section that is being enforced shall be recognized as adequate in every State for the period of the inspection. This subsection does not prohibit a State from making random inspections of commercial motor vehicles.

    link https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/49/31142
     
  7. Grumppy

    Grumppy Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

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    ^^^ Dis rat cheer ^^^

    DOT is a different ball game. Kinda like bounty hunters. They dont need a warrant to bust your door down & come in side. When you are a fugitive you're game for whatever you get.
    Same thing with a CDL.. They can stop you anywhere, anytime & do a random DOT inspection. No difference than ordering you into a scale house. You aint gotta do anything wrong, they have the right to pull you in & check anything about you, your truck trailer paperwork etc, that they want to & you gotta allow it or......

    they check anyway.
     
  8. RockinChair

    RockinChair Road Train Member

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    I'm not questioning the authority of a PO to conduct an inspection on a stopped/standing/parked vehicle.

    I want to know, specifically, if/how an officer is granted the authority to *initiate a stop* for no purpose other than to conduct an inspection, absent any observed violations prior to the stop.
     
  9. RockinChair

    RockinChair Road Train Member

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    Any attorneys care to comment?
     
  10. Brandt

    Brandt Road Train Member

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    Like everyone else said your in CMV and have a CDL they can pull you over anytime. I got stopped in Ohio and the DOT guy said it was just a random inspection. He had to do so many every month and he picked me.
     
    passingthru69, misterG and Dave_in_AZ Thank this.
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