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Can the police wait outside of a bar?
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Can the police wait outside of a bar?

Can the police park and wait in a bar parking lot, waiting for people to stagger out and appear drunk, and pull them over for suspicion of DUI?


no, DUI=Driving Under the Influence. And as shown they are not driving. But, they may be able to be arrested for being drunk in public or disorderly conduct

Here in NC, entrapment is a grey area. They can say that there will be a license check on the freeway signs 2 miles ahead, so all of the people who are driving illegaly will get off the interstate at the closest exit.......where the real license check is. I know it is stupid.

They are allowed to do that here in NC. Also, a bar is a PVA (public vehicular area) and you can get pulled over in the parking lot if they have probable cause. Probable cause may be that you just came out of a bar, a broken tail light, or other objective moving violations.

If you show no signs of driving unsafely/erratically, then they must follow you for 2 miles before they are legally allowed to pull you over. If it does happen to you, get a lawyer. They know more about it than you do.

Eric G
Absolutley, remember, their police. They can do w.e they want. Even if it was illegal they can say they were on a suspicion of a fight, and they just so happened to see a car swirving.

Think about this again, why would'nt a cop want to potentially save lives?

and again, even if this was illegal, they can just follow you... and pull you over a mile away, if you happen to make it.. then say they picked you up down the street and it was no predijuce to tha bar. Cops are usually outside at bars anyway becuase of fights and such.

rodolfo l
Yes. Why not?

Yes in Ca there known for that & a few blocks away they'll put check point.

Let's think about this a bit; let's assume that a drunk staggers out of a bar, gets in car and speeds off and then crashes head-on into a car with a husband, and wife and two kids, and let's assume everyone but the drunk was killed. Tell me how you feel about your question now. What if it was your family that was killed?

Label me Liberal
Yes they can, they can sit anywhere on public property. In the state I live in though you have to make driving error for them to stop you though. They will say you swerved even if you didn't.

outside, inside anywhere we want, we are the police.

NATURALLY, YES they can wait in a bar parking lot, whether for the people to stage a rumble of some sort or just mingle with the people outside the bar for security purposes, their duty is to SERVE and PROTECT isn't it in their logo.

THIS IS ONE WAY OF serving the public of peaceful and easy feeling that they are being watch by the police officers of the land, those who intent to create trouble will be apprehended and sent to jail. SO IF YOU ARE A LAW ABIDING CITIZEN I think you do not have to worry about it but if you are ONE OF THOSE WHO CREATE TROUBLE then you should be warn and be scared.

Sure they do. Usually they wait a little round the corner. But recently in my neighborhood I guess they couldn't wait for the guy to leave the parking lot (private property) so the case was thrown out!

I disagree... I was in the DUI squad of my city's police dept for 6 years. We were provided a copy of a case law that prohibits police from waiting outside of bars for DUI drivers to pull out. The actual case escapes me. It still remains in our general orders to this day that waiting outside of bars for DUI drivers is prohibited.

Yes, however, based on a case in the past, an officer cannot use the fact that you came from a car as reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop your car.

Where I live, no they can't, becuase it would be considered entrapment. They can however park nearby and pull people over once they are on the actual street and have committed a driving offense. But they can not "watch" who leaves the bar and pull them over purely for leaving the bar parking lot. That isn't probable cause, they need to make a mistake driving first.

El Scott
Nothing prohibits me from parking my patrol car near a bar. I can monitor traffic from just about anywhere. If it is private property the owner can ask me to move and I would need to move then unless I am on some legitimate Police business at the time. So yes an Officer can wait outside a bar.

If you were drunk and leaving a bar and saw a Officer sitting across the street would you drive off?

Holy Cats. I just read the misguided comments from the poster above about NC Law. There is no requirement to follow anyone for 2 miles before stopping them-that would be asinine. Also, reasonable suspicion is the requirement for a traffic stop anywhere in the US (including NC) and simply leaving a bar does not give an Officer the right to stop you. They must have some reasonable suspicion to believe that a law has been broken, is being broken, or is about to be broken to make a traffic stop. Furthermore entrapment is coaxing someone into doing something (i.e. breaking the law) that they normally wouldn't do. It is not a gray area here or anywhere-it either is or isn't entrapment.

It's unethical. If you see someone "staggering" to a car and "fumbling" with keys, why would I let them get in and drive off just so I could arrest them. At that point the ethical thing to do is confront them and suggest to them that they not drive. If at that point they choose to do so, it is a fair arrest. Of course, pulling stops near bar ares is perfectly fine, but it can't be just because they are coming out of a bar.

Yes. Why wouldn't they be able to? Although it'd be a little obvious.

Craig- Maybe the laws differ where you worked.

Kenneth C
We generally wait across the street or just down the street. It upsets the bar owners and they always complain, but luckily our pro-police city council generally tells them to eat it.

Daryl N
I mean seriously...shouldn't a person have a fair chance to drive drunk and endanger innocent lives?

The bar parking is a little close. I used to wait across the street, or down the block. In direct answer to your question, yes.

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