Back in March, Johnny Green reported encountering a bogus drug checkpoint while journeying through Nevada along Interstate 80 with Ninjasmoker. For those of you, like me, who had never heard of a fake drug checkpoint, it's shockingly lowbrow, even by drug cop standards. Here's how the scam works: police set up signs along the roadway announcing, “Drug Checkpoint Ahead.” But, since the Supreme Court ruled drug checkpoints are unconstitutional in City of Indianapolis v. Edmond (2000), cops can’t actually do that to you. Instead, they set the signs up just before rest areas to scare people into exiting, turning around, or dumping their stash. Then, the cops run drug-sniffing dogs around every car that pulls into the rest area. According to Scott Morgan from Flex Your Rights, “These checkpoint-like fake checkpoints serve as the functional equivalent of a checkpoint without violating the Court’s prohibition against checkpoints."
Some law enforcement agencies have gone beyond the basic sign-and-sniff approach. The Voice of Mini Cassia reported on a fake drug point along I-84 near where the Idaho State Police and Cassia County Sheriffs Department:
“set up its incident command post, complete with radio connections to several spotters who were strategically placed along the route to watch the reaction of drivers when they see the warning signs.? Any unusual or suspicious activity, such as someone throwing something from a car window, or a great deal of activity inside a car which could indicate someone hiding something, is radioed in by the spotter and an officer is sent to stop that vehicle and do a check."
Cops should never be allowed to provoke panic and fear along a roadway. We don’t need police herding us into rest-stop pigpens. It’s been repeatedly shown that a handler can influence his dog into ‘indicating’ anywhere. The situation is built on bias against innocent citizens who may have innocent reasons for pulling off at a rest area. Law enforcement should have no right to gang up in groups, packing weapons, intimidating people. That’s what gangsters do, not those with true power. It really makes cops look weak when they use tactics like these.
Johnny and Ninjasmoker avoided trouble by staying cool, not taking the exit, throwing anything from the vehicle, or anything else out of the ordinary (apparently, innocent people never litter, or fidget about in their cars, or visit rest areas for that matter.) You should do the same if you see a ‘Drug Dog Ahead’ or ‘Drug Checkpoint’ sign, don’t forget, it’s not real. Stay calm, take a deep breath, and drive on.