DUI Checkpoint Recording
Officers all around the state of Oklahoma host checkpoints as a way to randomly check for intoxicated drivers. In the Tulsa area, Bruce Edge’s private investigator video tapes what happens at these checkpoints in an attempt to protect the constitutional rights of drivers who are stopped.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” our private investigator says of the first few checkpoints she observed. “There are stipulations that come in the DUI packets that come along with federal grants. They tell the officers they can stop one in three cars or one in five. And those things aren’t happening.”
In addition to stopping as many cars as possible, our private investigator has observed officers pulling over motorists who turn around to avoid checkpoints—something those drivers are permitted to do under the law.
“The officers are supposed to give enough forewarning that people can opt out of these checkpoints,” she explains. “And when people do turn off from those checkpoints, they have troopers sitting in the shadows to pull out and pull them over for exercising their constitutional rights.”
Questionable Testing Methods
Perhaps most disturbing is the way our private investigator has observed—or attempted to observe—the administration of field sobriety tests.
“There are a core group of specific troopers and officers that make sure they’re at every checkpoint that don’t necessarily have the most up-to-date education or training in field sobriety testing,” our private investigator says. “They have acquired bad habits, things that are completely altering the standard aspect of those tests, and then they’re making life-altering decisions based off of inaccurate, non-standardized, non-scientific tests.”
Not only are these methods questionable, our private investigator says that the officers literally close ranks to begin administering field sobriety tests when they know she is filming.
“They would form a half-circle around the person so I couldn’t see,” she says. “So they’re aware that they’re not fully in compliance, or it’s just intimidating enough that they know they could possibly be in the wrong—and yet, they’re continuing the same practices.”
A Familiar Face
Our private investigator is such a familiar face that the checkpoint officers recognize her even when she’s not working. “They’re becoming much more aware of who I am, but yet aren’t chancing the practices that are the reason I’m there."
They Won’t Film, So We Do!
She insists that she will continue to film because she knows what is right. “I’m trained the same as the troopers, officers and law enforcement officers are, and by the same people,” our private investigator explains. Her goal in continued filming is clear: “I ensure that the civil rights of our clients are not being violated.”