Unless a motorist gives a police officer consent to search their motor vehicle, the officer must first have probable cause to apply for and receive a warrant from a Vermont judge prior to entering a vehicle.
Vermont law enforcement officers have been trained in all sorts of techniques to gain consent from motorists. In many cases, officers will use the, “give consent or I will have your vehicle towed” tactic, which can scare a motorist into thinking they truly have no other choice but to allow a search.
However, a recent report by CNET showed that an Iowa officer may have tried to go a little too far off the cuff when he tried to gather consent from a motorist to search his vehicle for marijuana because the driver played frisbee golf.
The entire interaction was recorded, where the officer attempted several times to get the driver to consent to a search because in his opinion, all frisbee golfers apparently smoke weed.
The motorist was not buying into the officer’s assumptions however and, after several attempts to gain access to the vehicle, the officer let the motorist go with a warning for failing to turn on his headlights.
This tactic has raised some serious concerns as to just what strategies officers are using to gain access to people’s vehicles. If frisbee golf is such a tactic, I don’t want to know what a Grateful Dead CD will bring.