When No means Yes in Salt Lake City (Tooele County)

Utah Highway Patrol
Utah Highway Patrol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On my wonderful road trip from Carson City to Fort Collins last week, I was pulled over by a Utah State Patrol for going 80 mph in 75 mph zone. Bad me.

The office commented that I looked nervous … was I using drugs? “No.”

Did I have drugs in my car? “No.”

Could he search my car? “No.”

OK … so he called in the K-9 Unit to come to sniff my car. The dog tore my license plate off the back of the car, scratched both doors and …

Guess what? No Drugs.

So Office #1 and Officer #2 (from the K-9 Unit) manually searched my car. Out comes the stroller, my luggage, coolers, books, baby seat, cds … everything! It was like getting in the terrorist line at the airport…minus the strip search.

Now Officer #3 pulled up to observe me as #1 & #2 searched my car.

Officer #3’s job was to watch me. Is she acting like a criminal, is she scared, is she freaking out?

Or is she perhaps ….pissed?

For some strange reason, I thought I had the right to decline a request to search my car. Does that actually apply to Utah? Does this happen other places too?

By this time Officer #4 (yes, FOUR cars were attending to my search) pulled over to shoot the breeze with the other THREE officers and ONE dog.

Nice to know that Utah Highway Patrol (in Salt Lake City) has money to blow on FOUR patrol cars  & FOUR officers and ONE dog for one speeder from Colorado.

Ummm… Did I mention that I received a Warning? Yes, all that time, money, effort and searching and they found nothing. No drug trafficking from California to Colorado. No medical marijuana. No beer. No wine. No cigarettes. No Pepsi. No caffeine.

Perhaps Officer Fawson had too much time on his hands. Or perhaps this happens all the time to out-of-state vehicles? Have you been pulled over in Utah for looking suspicious? For wearing a black hat or a tie-dyed t-shirt? For going 5 miles over the speed limit?

Was it just an accident that I got pulled over and FOUR patrol cars and ONE dog joined in the fun? Was it profiling? Was it harassment? Is it something that happens to most people traveling through? After the search, drivers like me just want to get out of Utah and never return, so our story goes unnoticed and unreported.

I learned my lesson … when you say NO to a request to have your car searched … it appears you are giving Utah State Patrol ‘probable cause’ (why else would I say NO?) to search your car.

In Utah, No really means Yes.
This ever happen to you in Utah or elsewhere? Care to share?


Power hungry and trigger happy state troopers in Tooele County, Utah!
Law enforcement in Tooele County is about intimidation. How nice… Ever wonder why there is no respect for these guys?