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Old 11-10-2009, 05:06 PM
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Exclamation I couldnt believe they would get away with this!

I ran acrossed this in the news I just couldnt believe that this could happen to drivers parked on private property!. I wanted to share this story as I wonder if this could becom the Norm. in the near future.....Police searches at Illinois truck stop spark questions
12/30/2007 - 9:30:55 pm

For three weeks, John Herrmann has heard questions from truckers worried about whether they should park at his truck stop for the night.

Herrmann, general manager of Flying J truck stop in Effingham, IL, was working during the early morning hours of Nov. 30, when a detail of Effingham County-area law enforcement officers woke several drivers by saying �DEA� and asking to see the inside of their cabs.

The investigation has resulted in no known arrests, but it did spark the ire of truck drivers and raised questions regarding interruptions of mandatory rest periods.

The incident bothered dozens of Land Line readers and Herrmann said he�s heard much discussion of the search on satellite radio trucking shows.

�There�s been a lot of negative publicity over this and we can�t afford to lose any business � especially when the economy is down,� Herrmann said. �We sure don�t want to be known as the hotspot for cops.�

The search didn�t take long.

According to Kendal Balding, police chief in Altamont, IL, his officers and other police officers from the area began inspecting trucks after 6 a.m. in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Herrmann said that only minutes after truckers told him of the police inspections, he contacted Flying J�s legal department at the company�s Ogden, UT, headquarters. After calling other truck stops in the Effingham area, Herrmann found out that police had also searched trucks at a TA and a Petro.

Then, Herrmann said, he approached the officers.

The truck stop certainly wants police to ensure safety and rid the business of any shady patrons, but Herrmann said the law enforcement officers told him �they don�t have to inform me of nothing� when he asked them about their activities that day.

�I was a little upset,� Herrmann said. �And after they were done, they didn�t even come in and talk to me.�

DEA and DHS officials haven�t returned several phone calls from Land Line seeking confirmation of those agencies� presence during the Nov. 30 searches. Officials at the Effingham Sheriff�s Department have said they aren�t aware of any arrests tied to the searches.

OOIDA Member Rick Donais told Land Line on Nov. 30 that he consented to the search, and saw police officers moving from truck to truck with K-9 units sniffing the outside of truck cabs. Eventually, Donais said, the officers moved to the Wal-Mart retail store parking lot adjacent to the truck stop.

The Illinois State Police are familiar with searching trucks and hours-of-service issues. The agency even has a division of troopers that perform commercial vehicle enforcement. Lt. Dave Beasley, an Illinois State Police spokesman, said his agency didn�t participate in the investigation and wouldn�t comment on another agency�s investigation.

Given a hypothetical scenario similar to the truck stop inspection at Effingham, Beasley said Illinois State Police would notify truck stop management before going truck to truck.

�Before we start waking people up, we want to make sure we have some probable cause or some justified reason for why we�re going to interrupt that person�s sleep period,� Beasley told Land Line. �As long as they�re legally parked, we�re not going to go knocking on doors.�

Beasley said a police search during a driver�s mandatory sleep period could force the driver to note the search, flag it in the logbook and re-start that rest period if the interruption took more than 15 minutes.

�If it takes more than 15 minutes � the way it looks in the regs � you would almost be bound to start over,� Beasley said.

Regardless of logbook and hours-of-service issues, Beasley said state police are also concerned that drivers get the sleep they need before work.

�We�re an active partner in reducing commercial vehicle fatalities,� Beasley said. �It�s a sticky issue if you ask me.�

Trucks are inspected 85,000 times at Illinois roadsides every year, and about 80,000 of those inspections are performed by Illinois State Police, according to Steve Mattioli, division administrator for FMCSA�s Illinois Field office.

When asked whether drivers would need to re-start mandatory sleep hours after a police search, Mattioli referenced FMCSA�s interpretation of Section 395.2 of the federal regs.

Mattioli said drivers wouldn�t necessarily have to restart their mandatory 10 hour off-duty time if the search took only a few minutes, although they would likely need to note the search in the logbook.

�We�ve said before that a short phone call between them and their motor carrier would not disturb their time,� Mattioli said. �A lot of this is going to be a judgment call. If an officer knocked on the door and if I was the driver, I�d note it on the log.�

At the Flying J in Effingham, officials are hopeful that officers knocking on truck doors remain a rarity. Truck stop manager Herrmann said he wants truckers to know they should feel safe and welcome to sleep at night.

�We just want people to know we sure don�t condone this activity,� Herrmann told Land Line. �We didn�t want this to happen, and this is not something we encourage.�
Trucking News - Police searches at Illinois truck stop spark questions
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:29 PM
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they only get away with it because we are truck drivers. no other profession would put up with that bull s**t. when is the last time anybody has seen cars, or busses, or taxi cabs, or limo drivers being pulled in to be inspected? that's right NEVER !!!!!!!!!! it is predgudice bulls**T....... they know that most truck drivers will not stand together and put an end to this CRAP !!!! where is the probable cause to be searching somebody's truck??? OH that's right, they don't need it if you are a truck driver. for a minute there i was thinking that we still had rights
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Old 11-10-2009, 05:45 PM
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I understand the law regarding searching commercial trucks on federal and state highways. But to go on private property without permission wake up drivers just to search their truck seems a might extreme!.Not only would it be bad for the tax paying business I feel its just bad judgement for law officials to go out of their way to do such a thing!. If a police official happened to see a illegal activity going on at a specific truck I could understand that official targeting that truck only. If they wanted to search all the trucks they should have waited until the trucks left the private property and were on the street. As I said I hope this kind of activity doesn't become habit across the country! (JMO)
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Old 11-10-2009, 07:13 PM
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I thought this Nazi stuff only happened on the borders with that NSA warrant-less surveillance. I'd never give consent to a search like this, whether that matters or not. I never freely give up my Rights. I know I'd at least voice my objection, and leave a fresh fart in my cab. Of course I could possibly then be arrested for having a "dirty bomb." :block:

I wouldn't boycott the Truck Stop. But if it happened to me a second time, lets say I would be extremely insubordinate, while leaning into some Nazi's ear giving him very colorful descriptions of his looks, manhood, smell, species, lack of intelligence, what his major malfunction is, and what kind of rock I suspect he lives under. I'd insist that he acknowledges me, and demand to know if he has a problem with anything I said. I'd also suggest what he can do with his clipboard, and I'm sure I'd just improvise from there. :moon:
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:44 PM
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Flying J management knew of this search, and permitted it, I remember when it happened a couple of years ago. I understand that it is difficult to say no to the law, but I really thought that it was a bad judgment call of the J.
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:51 PM
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The question I have, could you legally tell them no, go away and just go back to sleep?
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:59 PM
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BTW, the real scenario...
Hog gets belligerent and is both maced and tazered. Drools uncontrollably and walks with a limp for a couple days.
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Old 11-10-2009, 10:09 PM
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You could probably refuse to let them search your truck, but then they have probable cause b/c of suspicious behavior. Theres always ways for them to get around you. Why do you think they can run 90 in a 45 without anyone saying anything? B/c cops are above the law. If there were no DEA officials present however, I'd like to see if charges will be brought against the officers involved for impersonating a federal official. Take that piggys, yeah!
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:50 PM
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What bothers me the most is the lack of guidance to professionals concerning the HOS of the drivers.

Quote:
Beasley said a police search during a driver's mandatory sleep period could force the driver to note the search, flag it in the logbook and re-start that rest period if the interruption took more than 15 minutes.

If it takes more than 15 minutes, the way it looks in the regs, you would almost be bound to start over, Beasley said.
Apparently, the spokesman for the Illinois State Police is not sure how to interpret the regs and how they would apply to this question (that we have discussed here on CAD several times.) He seems to subscribe to the Rev. Vassago "magical 15 minutes" theory. (Cousin to the magic bullet theory.)

When asked whether drivers would need to restart mandatory sleep hours after a police search, Steve Mattioli, (division administrator for FMCSA's Illinois Field office) referenced FMCSA's interpretation of Section 395.2 of the federal regs.

Quote:
Mattioli said, "drivers wouldn't necessarily have to restart their mandatory 10 hour off-duty time if the search took only a few minutes, although they would likely need to note the search in the logbook."

"We've said before that a short phone call between them and their motor carrier would not disturb their time," Mattioli said. "A lot of this is going to be a judgment call. If an officer knocked on the door and if I was the driver, I'd note it on the log."
Note that Mattioli never referenced the "magic 15 minute rule." SURELY, if there WAS one, he'd trot it out clear and simple. But, there is NOT. It's a "momentary interruption" and there is no specific time limit on that. The ONLY "requirement" or suggestion is to NOTE IT on the log.

Note also that the reference here is ONLY to the 10 hour break period. What we were discussing before was the entire 34 hour restart! He SAYS it is a judgement call. In MY judgement.... a few minutes to allow a search, give a statement for a police report, or chase a stupid driver across the street who hit my truck is NOT going to negate the "spirit" of the regs concerning 34 hours OFF DUTY to gain rest before starting another 70 hour week.

As I feel this is pertinent to a very important discussion we were having at one time concerning this issue.... I'd respectfully ask the MODS or Admin to move this entire thread to a more proper and visible forum. (I believe it was the regs, oh my forum.)
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Les2 View Post
The question I have, could you legally tell them no, go away and just go back to sleep?
Yes and no. As an agent for your employer (owner of the "property") or as an O/O who DOES own the poperty, you have the same rights as any driver of an auto when pulled over by police. You can refuse to give permission, but they probably will NOT let you go back to sleep while they get a warrant.... which they can easily due based almost solely on your refusal.

And there is NO WAY that they have some kind of "blanket warrant" from a judge to search every truck on the lot. Search warrants must be VERY specific about the identification, location, and ownership of any property to be searched... AND what is being searched for and WHAT they expect to find. To the extent that.... if something was found that was not listed on the warrant?..... it can be suppressed in court!
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