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Author Topic: Local Jurisdiction and RF Compliance  (Read 3834 times)
K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #30 on: November 10, 2009, 09:42:01 PM »

LRZ,

In Texas non CDL motorists have the OPTION of taking a driver safety course in lieu of fine and having a ticket on our driving record. Exceptions are school zone and other serious violations.

By the time you figure insurance costs, the fine, the record, employer limits on employee's driving record, etc. etc. it is an easy choice to make.

Most of the driver safety courses are taught by comedians (who usually need the work anyway) so it's not such a bad experience.

I've never had a DWI so I don't know whether driver safety courses have anything to do with DWI in Texas, but I doubt it.

However, there is an "underage" alcohol offense for which the kids can take some sort of class to get their license. Minors in Texas with alcohol convictions don't get to drive, as I understand it. The teachers call this class the LDB (little drunk bas***rds) class.

They are very strict here about underage alcohol as well as any DWI. It is taken very seriously.

Very.

And it should be.

I've driven in Louisiana many times as part of work, and when in LA I've been pulled over more than once for no reason at all and given the third degree about what I'm up to, who I am, and made to wait while they run checks, etc. etc. etc.

In Texas, anything from around Hwy US 59 to the State line at LA is a bit like that too, but not to the same degree. Two cities getting into trouble for having their own "private tollway" were near 59. I never had any problems in West Texas.
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KG4TKC
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Posts: 72




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« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2009, 05:19:00 PM »

I was told that if you enter an area that has the road signs 'Blasting Ahead,Turn off 2-Way Radio' that you not only better not key up the mike you had better have the 2-way turned off. In that instance the Highway patrol has some jurisdiction over what you do with a transmitter. I have not been around highway construction for a number of years now,but back in the day I watched films of a CB setting off an unshunted blasting cap.

     I have been told by people who worked in a data center entering medical data for billing for insurance or medicare,that they were instructed on what to do if there was a warrant served. They were expected to show their hands to the officers that they were not touching the keyboard. I do not know if it is true,but they were told that the FBI could shoot if,after being warned to take your hands off the keyboard,you began to use the keyboard in an attempt to delete evidence. I know the police can get an order to cut power at the same time of a raid to execute a warrant in order to save life,property,or protect evidence.

     I think that while the the local law enforcement has no jurisdiction over you and FCC regulations,they have jurisdiction over some of the things you can do with it. There are scanner laws dealing with using a scanner in an unlawful enterprise. A few years ago there were some 'Lot Lizards' at a truck plaza on an interstate who were using 2 meter HT's with their 'manager' for running the 'Lot Lizard' business. Local cops busted them and seized their radios.

     I am not a lawyer or a member of law enforcement,these are just some musings from reading and things relayed to me by others. Take them with a grain of salt,,:) If it happened to me,I would stop transmitting until the matter was resolved.
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WB5JEO
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« Reply #32 on: November 15, 2009, 07:58:30 PM »

"I do not know if it is true,but they were told that the FBI could shoot if,after being warned to take your hands off the keyboard,you began to use the keyboard in an attempt to delete evidence."

No. Of course they don't. What a silly notion.
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #33 on: November 15, 2009, 09:07:59 PM »

TKC, these are apples and oranges in your example.

In the blasting situation the danger has been made known a la road sign, and to disregard the information and key the radio would present a hazard, or could even be a threat.

Example. I have a bar-b-que in my back yard. Nothing illegal about that, right?

When the backhoe down the block hits the gas main, the police and firemen tell me to snuff out the fire in the bar-b-que pit. Should I obey? What do you think?

Now the keyboard thing. I would think that is obvious, but they want to see your empty hands raised to make sure you don't have a weapon.

I doubt deadly force is allowed to prevent destruction of evidence--in itself. If destruction of material or information would present a clear and imminent threat to life, then yes, that is different.

Apples and oranges.
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KG4TKC
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« Reply #34 on: November 16, 2009, 06:54:31 AM »

K5END- Yes it is apples and oranges,that is what I was trying to point out. Few interpretations and applications of law are clear cut apples and oranges. While the FCC issues you a ham license,that does not give them absolute control over any law enforcement issues that would come up with you,local or state law. While there is the orange of FCC rules and regs,there is the apple of state law. If you are using a radio in an illegal manner,local law enforcement has the power to make you stop using it,even thought they did not issue the license nor do they regulate spectrum use. If you are using a radio to facilitate some sort of illegal drug scheme,local authorities can tell you to stop keying up,arrest you,and seize your radio for evidence. So what I was saying is that if a local cop tells you to stop keying up,you probably should listen,since like the highway patrol example,it may well fall under his authority under state law to tell you to do so.

     The keyboard example was extreme. That story was relayed to me back around 1994-96 I believe. The people who relayed it to me had traveled from Charleston,WVa to Corpus Christi,Tx. for a seminar on coding medical information for Medicare,and guarding against Medicare Fraud. I used it to point out that even tho the FCC controls the ISP's,at that time controlled the speed a dialup modem could operate at,regulates RFI from a computer,others regulate what you can do at the keyboard.

     I told them when they told me about the warning that the FBI could shoot if they kept typing that it seemed extreme to me. They made a believer out of those ladies! And no,it was not about showing your hands to show you did not have a weapon. It was made quite clear to them that it was all about getting your hands off the keyboard and not making another keystroke after you were told to stop. Then again,Medicare fraud is a multi-billion dollar business.
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KG4TKC
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« Reply #35 on: November 16, 2009, 07:07:52 AM »

K5END- I forgot to point out that you have started an interesting discussion. It has developed into a scholarly discussion among gentleman,which is great to see here on eham. I for sure do not mean for any of my extreme examples to take anything away from that. They are just a feeble attempt to point out how far things vary from the black and white we wish they would stay at.
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #36 on: November 16, 2009, 07:56:06 AM »

TKC,

Understood, and thanks.

I thought it was an interesting topic for the "MISC" forum.

I don't know where the flamers are.

They must not be feeling well.
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WG7X
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Posts: 350




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« Reply #37 on: November 16, 2009, 08:14:46 AM »

Thanks to K5END for expanding on my initial premise: That being, local law enforcement having the tasks of curtailing local RFI problems.

As mentioned previously, local law enforcement was given the task of enforcing CB regulation in their jurisdiction.

To you and me, that seems simple enough. But, given the fact that to the cop on the beat; and indeed to most folks, Ham and CB are the same, this is worrisome.

Now, the reality is that the local police have too many "tasks" already and RF enforcement is probably pretty darn low on the list.

All I know is that I don't want some local LEO telling me that I MUST quit transmitting or suffer the consequences. That whole idea set me off, but given the choice, I'd quit transmitting (for the time being) and take up the fight with police supervisor or the courts.

Sad to say these are the times we live in. This is one of the reasons that my antennas are mostly invisible. I don't have to hide them, and if fact they are clearly visible. But, with the low impact of wires most of my neighbors don't see them.

Out of sight, out of mind...

73, and yes it's good to have a discussion without the usual trolls...

Gary WG7X
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K5END
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Posts: 1309




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« Reply #38 on: November 16, 2009, 08:37:24 AM »

Ah, yes.

I should have pointed out the idea did not orginate from me.

SRI.
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W3WN
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Posts: 201




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« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2009, 10:41:21 AM »

Somewhat tangential to the conversation... but close to 30 years ago, I was almost arrested for using my 2 Meter HT.

Was waiting on the morning bus to work, talking with some friends on the local repeater when a police car pulled up.  Officer stepped out and politely (wording) demanded (tone) that I hand over my HT.  I asked him why, he repeated the demand -- same wording, harsher tone.  I started to end my transmission (with legal ID), he told me he'd arrest me right now if I didn't stop obeying a lawful order.  

(Was it?  You think I'm going to argue with a police officer who's got his left hand reached out for the HT, and his right hand on his holstered-but-safety-strap-unsnapped service revolver?   I may be nutz, but I'm not that nutz)

Upon confiscating the HT, he proceeded back into his car, examined the rig, and called someone with his radio (remember, this is long before the days of laptops, cell phones, and related technology).  About 10 minutes later, he walked out and silently handed me the rig back.

I asked him what the problem was, he told me it was none of my business (!) and that I should just proceed with my day.

Found out later in the day from a friend on a the force in the town I worked in that a couple police HT's had been stolen a few days before, and that the thieves or their buddies were jamming the local airwaves with them.  So obviously anyone with an HT was suspect... like a Tempo FMH-2 resembles in any way a Motorola commercial radio...

Did the officer have the "right" to confiscate my HT just because I was using it?  Good question, but I wasn't about to go to jail to find out.  (And yes, I had my license on me, but he never asked for it.  Clearly to him, all handheld radios were suspect until proven otherwise)
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K5END
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« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2009, 11:24:56 AM »

"Did the officer have the "right" to confiscate my HT just because I was using it? Good question, but I wasn't about to go to jail to find out."

These days you would just get tazered.

I don't know the answer to your question. Seems to me he should have to give you a reason to confiscate your property, even if only temporarily.

Obey now, gripe later.

I think I would have followed up on that one. All he had to do was ask to see the serial number. He had no "probable cause**" to take your radio from you. That event is not official oppression, but you'd be hard pressed to get any closer without crossing the line.

**Not a legal expert.
My opinion only.
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WB5JEO
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« Reply #41 on: November 18, 2009, 01:11:39 PM »

Admittedly, the the officer's approach was knotheaded. As to the correctness of checking out an HT, it may well have been that the interference was happening right then. And there are very few people at any given time, especially then, (ham convention in town being an exception) walking around talking into radios, it wouldn't be unreasonable to check one. An FMH-2 isn't all that much different in appearance from the commonly used Motorola HT's of 30 years ago. Reasonable to check it out. Dumb approach, but reasonable to examine it.

We had that problem once. Hand radio stolen from a command officer's car and used to taunt. It was a small town, and when it was happening, we were not only riding around listening on our repeater uplink frequency in hopes of narrowing the location, but we might have seen them riding around using the radio. Never caught them, although I had a pretty good idea who at least knew who had it. The battery went dead, and a snitch told me a couple of years later that it went over the bridge into the lake.
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K5END
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« Reply #42 on: November 18, 2009, 02:01:09 PM »

JEO, seems like I saw something like that in some silly comedy movie long ago. All I remember was Stacy Keach was the officer being taunted.

Would a local ham club be allowed to help you locate such an offender?

There was a story about some nuts who were interfering with the Amateur traffic around here not long ago. Turns out the jerks doing the interference were actually licensed hams. A group of motivated Hams went mobile and caught two of them in the act. The FCC was involved. The end of the story as told to me is the jammers forfeited their licenses to appease the FCC. Small price to pay, IMO.
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WA4MJF
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« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2009, 04:55:20 PM »

In NC the General Assembly wrote the law to take advantage of local enforcement
of Part 95 to include a part that says that if the suspect has a FCC license of any kind, hands off.  

Happy Holidaze!

73 de Ronnie
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AE5JU
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« Reply #44 on: November 28, 2009, 09:52:40 PM »

Perhaps we have a lawyer among us who can explain "violation of civil rights under color of law" and how it may or may not apply here.
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