In yet another example of ridiculous government overreach and harrasment, the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) thinks that your vehicle with your business name on the side is subject to commercial trucking regulations. The Arizona Revised Statutes that define a "commercial motor vehicle" are pretty easy to read, and clearly a Ford F150 or Volkswagen Golf with a business logo on the side do not constitute commercial motor vehicles. However, ADOT appears to be disregarding the actual language of the law and has come up with its own definition for a commercial motor vehicle. In summary, A.R.S. 28-601 and 28-5201 define a commercial motor vehicle as a vehicle that is over 10,000 pounds, or that carries people for hire and has a design capacity to carry 8 or more people, or that carries hazardous cargo and is required to display a hazardous cargo placard. From this language, ADOT has concluded that any vehicle that displays the name of a business must be a commercial motor vehicle.
We frequently work with clients from the commercial trucking industry when they have run afoul of one of the numerous government regulations that apply to commercial drivers. As we covered in a recent blog post, it is impossible for any one person to know all of the laws that apply to them. As a result, it is also impossible for anyone to comply with all of the laws that apply to them, and so it goes with truck drivers. Odds are, if you are a commercial truck driver, when a cop pulls you over he will find some technical violation no matter how hard you try to comply with the law. As any driver will report, trying to comply with the rules and regulations is financially burdensome and time consuming.
Here is an example of a police encounter that fortunately ended well, but could have just as easily resulted in the shooting death of a driver and his passenger. A man and a woman were driving on the street when they passed Officer Tobler, who was on foot. Something about cars moving about on streets really aggravates Officer Tobler. When the driver first passed Officer Tobler, the cop screamed "Go the fuck home!" and threw his hands up in the air as if to invite a fight. At this point, the driver and his passenger began filiming Officer Tobler and eventually pulled over to the side of the road to continue filming.
In yet another example of behavior that while common for the police, would land you or me in the electric chair, police shot and killed an unarmed 18 year old boy named Keith Vidal. The situation began when Keith, a boy who had just turned 18 years old and who suffered from schizophrenia, picked up a screw driver and would not put it down. His parents, fearing for Keith's safety, then made a mistake that would prove fatal and called the police to help calm down their child. When the police showed up, presumably to protect the boy from himself, they tazed the boy and then two officers held him down while a third officer shot him point blank after muttering "I don't have time for this."
Reckless driving is a criminal traffic charge in Arizona that can involve some serious consequences. Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) 28-693(A) defines reckless driving as follows: "A person who drives a vehicle in reckless disregard for the saftey of person or property is guilty of reckless driving." This statue appears somewhat vague, as many of them are, and leaves a lot of discretion to the cops writing the tickets. Basically, if a cop subjectively believes that you are driving with "reckless disregard" for the safety of people or property around you, then you will be cited for reckless driving. For example, if a cop sees you change lanes in a manner he or she does not like, then that cop might swerve accross 4 lanes of traffic without a blinker while speeding to pull you over for your "reckless" lane change. That seems fair right?
Criminal Defense attorney Michael Kielsky recently appeared on the We The People: Uniting America Radio Show, hosted by Ray Chubb, to discuss Cliven Bundy, the recent events at the Bundy Ranch, and the threats posed by government overreach.
Last week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals made an unblelievable ruling in U.S. v. Westhoven that adds "driving" to the already incomprehensible list of traffic violations that will get you pulled over.
Jim Koch has an interesting approach to drinking and not getting drunk. Koch is a co-founder and the current CEO of the Boston Beer Company, the company that produces the widely known Samuel Adams brand of beer. With such credentials, it is not surprising that Koch knows a thing or two about how alcohol is metabolized.
What would you call it when an armed person stops you as you are traveling and demands money? I call it theft, robbery or piracy. Here's how it works when a "police officer" does it: A cop pulls over a driver for a pretextual reason, such as speeding (3mph over the limit in the video below), or a broken tail light, or maybe a burned out headlight. Then the cop either coerces the driver into consenting to a search or simply performs an illegal search of the car. The cop finds nothing illegal, but does find money. The cop then says "I'm keeping your money. You can either get in your car and drive away without your money, or I'll impound your car and take a bunch more of your stuff for no reason."