This morning I was driving my car, going about my private business when I passed a highway patrol vehicle containing only one officer. He pulled out to follow me and after about 1/4 mile he switched on the cherries and pulled me over. Now I've been a member of TPUC for a bit now and have seen John Harris's videos and have sent the links far and wide. I've always felt ready for this kind of thing and know the score about contracting and legalese. Despite this, I was still choking on adrenalin, thinking "this is it, man - the moment you've prepared yourself for!" and thought it would be okay to present my license because I hadn't done anything wrong (what a fool!). He immediately told me it was for a random breath test (10.30am! on a Tuesday!!) and random license check, while I rummaged for my license he did the old walk about the vehicle nitpicking and dreaming up revenue raising ideas. He then informs me that there is enough for him to give me a penalty notice for faults with the car but -kerrching!- after seeing my license he got me for not displaying my P plates (the penalty for a faulty car was not mentioned again!) If he hadn't got me on my P's I'm pretty sure he would have gone for the car penalty. Please also note that I'm in my mid-thirties and only recently got my license. The police officer did not see a young hoon driving a muscled up car.
So here's the thing, can a single cop pull you over? And, for no apparent reason (I wasn't swerving or speeding, etc.)? It's my understanding that he blatantly breached his oath by pulling me over because I wasn't disturbing the peace. How do I stand rebuking the fine as I did contract with him by agreeing it was my vehicle and handing him my license. He had no lawful reason to be stopping me going about my private business in the first place. When I questioned him regarding the penalty he became very assertive and asked "Do you understand that?" and walked off without waiting for my response. The fine is $160 and when I looked on the QLD transport website it is also 2 demerits although he never mentioned this. I'm pretty pissed off about this as he really did stop me under a ruse and on my wedding anniversary too!
As I said, I've been a TPUC member for a bit now and have thoroughly enjoy the articles - I saw this letter: http://www.tpuc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=3604 some time ago and thought it would come handy for a situation like this, although my questions (or rather requests for proof of claims) are different as I gave consent and contracted with them. My requests in a letter (or rather a notice of conditional agreement) would be:
- Upon proof of claim that the charge was the result of a lawful investigation unmarred by prejudice.
- Upon proof of claim that you had lawful reason to stop me going about my private business.
I can't think of any others, but more would be appreciated! Any opinions, hints or tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. I think $160 is a lot of money just to get them off my back, but 1000's would just do it. I'm a man of principle. I run my own business from home, and keep all the economy associated with it localised. I grow my own veggies. I don't enslave [employ] anyone. This is the first time I've ever had anything to do with the police so I'm very upset and distracted from my private life by the evils of the corporate world and the world of contracting and commerce.
I hope this topic can also be used as a resource for others who find themselves in a similar situation. Thanks again in advance for your thoughts and comments.