Carrollton Police Stop

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Re: Carrollton Police Stop

Postby gigag04 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 6:38 am

Having been to a suppression hearing on a stop I made for no insurance, I feel qualified to comment on this. The insurance database is over 99% accurate. By law it only has to be 95%. Either way, it definitely gets an operator past the 51% often associated with reasonable suspicion.
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Re: Carrollton Police Stop

Postby LabRat » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:49 am

I did further digging and it appears that the insurance database was not intended by the Texas legislature to be used FOR a stop, but rather used if a stop for other reasons was initiated.

Here is the link I found: http://www.texassure.com/Press10208.html

The verbiage I'm seeing is this:
"“AFTER a vehicle is pulled over, the TexasSure database is a fantastic tool that helps law enforcement identify those who are driving without insurance—or with an expired or phony insurance document,” said DPS Lt. Louis Sanchez."
(emphasis of "after" is mine - LabRat)
"Here’s how it works: during a traffic stop, law enforcement officers may use the license plate and/or VIN of a vehicle to submit a query to the new database through the Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (TLETS)."

So it would appear to me that the insurance would be checked IF the vehicle were stopped for another reason, but not for just checking the vehicle.

To use the database as the reason for the initial stop is scary since, at best given as gigag04 states, its not 100% accurate....not even 99% accurate...maybe only 95% accurate. That means that 1 in 20 drivers could be stopped based on faulty information.

I'm going to write the TexasSure folks in Austin to see how it was intended to be used.
Will let you know what I find out.

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Re: Carrollton Police Stop

Postby gigag04 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:10 pm

Their intent has little bearing on what courts have decided is a GTG detention. The judge I dealt with explicitly stated that rarely to LEOs have the luxury of operating with 100% of the information surrounding a situation. However, as testified by me, he beilieved that it clearly was enough to stop and investigate further.

There are conflicting cases in the court of appeals in TX regarding the issue, however the difference came to the officer's ability to understand the returns given by the database and deduct reasonable conclusions on that information.
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Re: Carrollton Police Stop

Postby BigGuy » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:34 pm

I hope this isn't off topic, but one of the things I like about the database is that WHEN I pop into the accessors office to renew my tags and suddenly realize that I've forgotten to bring along proof of insurance, instead of losing my place in line they just confirm it on their computer, take my money, issue the tag, and send me on my way.
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Re: Carrollton Police Stop

Postby JustMe » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:38 pm

I'm curious why he felt it necessary to run your plates through the database to start with.
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Re: Carrollton Police Stop

Postby puma guy » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:44 pm

gigag04 wrote:Having been to a suppression hearing on a stop I made for no insurance, I feel qualified to comment on this. The insurance database is over 99% accurate. By law it only has to be 95%. Either way, it definitely gets an operator past the 51% often associated with reasonable suspicion.

Some link or study to support this would be helpfull. Not saying you pulled it out of thin air, however, I have two personal experiences with LEO's saying the drivers that damaged our vehicles had insurance when in fact they did not. Tried to get them to issue citations after the fact, but they weren't interested. I even tracked down one woman's real address and phone number because she'd moved w/o updating her DL so the accident report had false info. I'm 0 for 2 in believing the stats you quote. plus I had the pleasure of paying two deductibles.
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Re: Carrollton Police Stop

Postby puma guy » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:45 pm

JustMe wrote:I'm curious why he felt it necessary to run your plates through the database to start with.

because he can :mrgreen:
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Re: Carrollton Police Stop

Postby 92f-fan » Fri Nov 09, 2012 12:57 pm

best part is that they can still write you a ticket for not carrying paper proof of insurance

Even though they KNOW you have coverage ....

great source of revenue
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Re: Carrollton Police Stop

Postby LabRat » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:14 pm

gigag04 wrote:Their intent has little bearing on what courts have decided is a GTG detention. The judge I dealt with explicitly stated that rarely to LEOs have the luxury of operating with 100% of the information surrounding a situation. However, as testified by me, he beilieved that it clearly was enough to stop and investigate further.

There are conflicting cases in the court of appeals in TX regarding the issue, however the difference came to the officer's ability to understand the returns given by the database and deduct reasonable conclusions on that information.


The list of folks who have to conduct their lives with less than 100% information is long and distingished; LEOs are not unique in that context.

However, LEOs are unique in that my liberty (and maybe my life) depends on what he does with that (100-X)% information he does have.

That missing percentage can be rationalized into a subjective opinion that carries the full weight of the law. You need only go to traffic court one time to see how that turns out.

The database is inaccurate to some degree, as stated by you, in a different post.

It is possible that the more inaccurate the database is shown to be, the more leeway a police officer will actually have with the court in supporting a decision that further investigation is appropriate. It works in the police's favor that the database has flaws.

If the database were 100% accurate; a police officer (might) have a smaller chance of convincing the court that he/she had a "reasonable suspicion" to stop the vehicle, if the database shows no issues with insurance.

The intent of the legislature is still the key to this issue.

If, as you state, that the intent is not considered by the courts (and by extension, the police), the database is of little use.
Just stop whomever you want and go from there....it's all about "reasonable suspicion" and 51% anyway, right?

If the legislature really intended this to be an adjunct tool, for use when other situations are already in play (circumstances that warrant a police stop); then, in my opinion, both the police and the courts are wrong...actually very wrong that it's use is "reasonable" as the primary reason to stop a vehicle and detain a citizen.

Then, it's just a fishing expedition for evidence of a crime, when none is apparent. Nothing "reasonable" about that.

Blackstone said "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer".

You really should opt in favor of the likely innocence of the citizen than the likely guilt of the citizen, if you have incomplete facts. Since <51% of the citizenry are criminals, then the "reasonable" conclusion is "likely innocence".

While getting criminals off the streets makes society more comfortable (for a short while); it must be done in such a way as not to trample or abuse the innocent citizens to accomplish that job.

Yeah, it's tough....but no one said maintaining a society where liberty is paramount was easy.

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Re: Carrollton Police Stop

Postby gigag04 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:08 pm

My numbers come from the user's guide which is hundreds of pages, and an independent audit of the SAO. That may help you track them down. I'm not sure what I did with them.

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Re: Carrollton Police Stop

Postby E10 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:42 pm

Jaguar wrote:So an incomplete database is probable cause for a stop?


Either he was lying, or he probably fumble-fingered the license plate entry and got the 'no confirmation' message. Funny how they can drive around typing on their computers and looking at their displays and we civilians get tickets (here in El Paso, anyway) for talking on our cell phones. Neither action is safe.
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Re: Carrollton Police Stop

Postby urnoodle » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:06 pm

I'm going to stretch this a little. So the LEO runs the plate determines that their is no insurance in the database for that vehicle. So the LEO then makes a traffic stop. The driver presents proof of insurance. That piece of paper can be easily modified on a home computer and printed. How was the traffic stop beneficial if the driver didn't have take additional steps to provide proof the information was valid?

I have been waiting at many a redlight to change when I've observed LEOs pull plate numbers with no apparent justification. That to me just another thing that demonstrates the direction this country is heading, one is guilty until proven innocent. I've heard the justification that LEOs are confirming the vehicle is properly registered. To pull a plate arbitrarily is an assumption that the tag may not be valid without any evidence of that fact.
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