(Liz Klimas) Many municipalities set up checkpoints for law enforcement to cut down on drunk driving over the Fourth of July holiday, but one stop in particular is getting national attention.
The now viral video posted to YouTube showing a man getting stopped at a DUI checkpoint in Rutherford County, Tennessee, has more than 2.8 million views as of Monday morning after being posted the night of the event. The video includes what the driver believes to be a unconstitutional search of his car where an officer is even recorded saying the man is “perfectly innocent and he knows his rights.”
Interestingly, the resistance on the part of the driver and his recording of the incident was planned.
The video shows driver, 21-year-old Chris Kalbaugh, has his window cracked as Deputy A.J. Ross walks over asking the man to roll it down further. Kalbaugh says he thinks the level he has it rolled down is “fine” because he is able to hear the officer adequately. Ross asks how old Kalbaugh is (who before providing his answer responds asking if that’s even a relevant question), walks briefly toward the back of the vehicle, returns and then asks Kalbaugh to pull over.
Kalbaugh repeatedly asks if he is being detained, not moving the car, while Ross doesn’t answer his questing but tells him to either pull over or step out of the vehicle.
“After he keeps using intimidation to get me to do what he wants, all the officers surround my vehicle like I’m a criminal,” Kalbaugh wrote in the video.
Kalbaugh eventually pulls over. He then is asked to unlock his car door — he again asks if he is being detained with no response from Ross — and takes off his seat belt. Kalbaugh steps out of the car and out of the camera view.
Kalbaugh has inserted text of the conversation that took place with a faint recording of it audible on the video.
“Are you an attorney or something? You know what the law is?” Ross asks.
“Yes sir, I do,” Kalbaugh replied.
“Ok, what is the law?” Ross said.
“The law says at checkpoints I have to stop. And I did,” Ross said.
“That is all. I’m not required to answer any questions. I have Constitutional freedom to travel without being randomly stopped and questioned,” Kalbaugh continued after Ross prompted him further.
More mumbled conversation can be heard but Kalbaugh didn’t translate the text into the video at this point. The young adult later wrote that he was asked to provide his I.D., which Kalbaugh believes he legally didn’t need to as he didn’t commit any traffic violations or other infractions.
Kalbaugh then wrote that the officer asked if he could search the vehicle, which Kalbaugh said he would not consent to. Ross then got a K-9 to sniff around the vehicle.