Psychedelic Van

Psychedelic Van (Photo credit: Brandon Doran)

I drive a psychedelic van in a conservative area of the country, and your web site information has been extremely helpful. I’ve asserted my rights numerous times and driven away without being searched. One exception was a recent occurrence in Connersville, Indiana.

A city policeman pulled me over for having a poorly lit license plate, then detained me while he called in drug sniffing dogs. When I asked him why he called in dogs, he said he didn’t have to have a reason. He didn’t ask for my consent to have them sniff the outside of my van (is that legal?) [Editor’s note: Yes, but the detention was not, so it doesn’t matter], but reported that a dog “alerted” on my driver’s side door.

While that was happening, I called in the Indiana state police and requested they come there because I felt my rights were being violated. They were extremely helpful. I showed them that the city police officer was giving a hand signal to get the dog to “alert”. I asked the State Police officer to write that in his report, and he said he would. After seeing that, he called in the Indiana drug dogs. Their handlers arrived, and after finding out that there wasn’t any probable cause to search me, refused to conduct their own search.

The city police proceeded to conduct a search and found nothing (as I knew they wouldn’t). At that point, the state police told the city police that anything from there would be considered in court an illegal search, and they apologized and left.

Thanks for your helpful website.