Well friends, after many years of owning and enjoying these cars, I was pulled over today by a Sheriff. Nothing unusual, I am stopped at least once every few days by police. However, this cop (on a power trip) informed me that my car was illegal, unlawful and prohibited from road use. Seriously, no joke. I went into a lengthy explanation about the car, the movie, even had my Blues Brothers shirt on with the hat and glasses. He said, "I am going to impound this vehicle." I begged and pleaded until he gave me the option to have it towed home. I had just returned from a 3 hour drive to a car event too. So, my question to all of you fellow Blumo owners is, WTF? Has anyone ran into this before? I'm not talking about the typical stops. I get those all the time. I mean the "this vehicle is COMPLETELY ILLEGAL" stops? Any advise would be greatly appreciated. VERY STEAMED right now.
Personally, and from what I understand, he was completely in the wrong.
There is a big difference between impersonating an officer and driving an antique vehicle. No person with an IQ above 3 is going to confuse your car with one on active duty.
By his standards every computer repair "Geek Squad" car needs to be impounded.
All lawyers give free phone consultations. I'd find one who deals with vehicles and vehicle laws and explain the situation to him. They would be able to tell you what recourse you have if and when this happens again.
I drive mine with a fully intact Mt.Prospect sticker on the door, and although the trunk lettering is distressed, it clearly says police on it.
I get waves and smiles from cops, nearly every time it is on the road, including Mt.Prospect officers who I believe would have the most concern.
I've been pulled over only one time, and that was only because my license plate sticker had expired a few days earlier.
The officer was pretty young, and and didn't recognize the car for what it was. He asked:
"What is this car all about". I replied, "It is the Bluesmobile". He said... "Oh right"..."Cool"..."Have a nice day".
If any of the hundred times that the police have seen this car on the road had thought there was even anything wrong with it, you know for sure they would have said something.
So far (in over 2 years) not one word.
I also have an Illinois State trooper who lives not 4 houses away from me. He has seen it and has also not said anything.
I believe as you say, the cop was on some sort of trip and started interpreting the law to suit his own beliefs.
I see many Black & White facsimiles on the road, from the above mentioned "Geek Squad", to taxis, to lawn care vehicles. If they were all illegal there would be cars pulled over all over the place.
I do believe those of us here in the Chicago area get less (to no) hassle partly because we are so close to the source, but I also believe that would not stop an officer from pulling our cars to the side if they truly felt they were not allowed.
But, like I say, I'd call a professional to get a proper opinion. I'm willing to bet that not only were your rights violated, you might have legal recourse to get the money back from the tow.
Post by chitownjohn on Sept 16, 2011 19:29:57 GMT -5
I'd try as TK said,
Some times these guys need a little rein yank. I'm all for giving cops back there discretion to beat a head in when someone acts up, but your goin down the road, not actin up and such, there is no way the car can be interpreted as a police car by a reasonable mind, it's way to friggin old, round head-lights to boot? It's rediculous, especialy what you were wearing.
Ive had much of the same response, cops hit the buzzer and wave cause they had an instant laugh on perhaps a hard day. Once while driving the olds like that cop pulled along side and was not impressed, I beleive he was a sarge and was a glance form nailing me.
I think my beard also helps in the sense how on earth I'm I a Officer of the Law? I knw like the crazy guy from Hill Strret right? well what ever, but your story aggitated me none the less, I wish you luck in the pursuit of lettin that kid have it by way of legal issue.
I reall doubt it, becuase we really are in the wrong but it's another common sense issue that gets dropped by the wayside to a zero tolerance agenda.
Guys you have made my day! I have been bummed all afternoon over this. Never seen any posts on here with this stupid topic but I'm glad I got my answers. And THANKS Steam for the post. I am officially on the run lol. Hell, this is the first time I have had to put a car cover on a Monaco in my driveway lol. Thanks again!!!
Last Edit: Sept 16, 2011 21:55:45 GMT -5 by SCMODS
I think there are some laws that are described plainly, such as "ownership of red and blue lights by private individuals is illegal" (Colorado) and "mounting of any lights on any vehicles requires a permit" (New Hampshire). www.allpar.com/squads/collecting.html
And then there are other laws that might are open to interpretation, such as "it is illegal to drive a car that might be confused with a police car" (I just made that up, but someplace probably has a similarly worded law).
That allpar page above gives recommendations: > When traveling anywhere, you must cover or remove the > emergency lights, cover or remove anything saying POLICE on > the body, and NEVER blow the siren on the road.
Maybe there's not a law against having POLICE marking on the body, but it just makes life easier. The site continues:
> Many of us go the extra distance and place signage on the car > while traveling that says “OUT OF SERVICE.”
And 177ellwood uses such a marking (a magnet). This pic is from when we stopped by the Harvey, IL mall on the way to CEVS with Country Bunker:
I asked him about the magnet, and I can't quote his response, but it was something like: "It may not be legally required, but it sure makes life easier"
Country Bunker runs around with a replica BDR529 plate on the front of the car, and his regular Michigan plate on the rear. To me, this sounds outrageous and just asking for trouble, but he's had no trouble.
I think on BBC (TK826?) had a post about the trickyness of having "POLICE" on the car, so he was making his deliberately distressed so that it would be difficult for a police officer to claim that the car was an attempt to impersonate a police car.
You have to determine what battles are worth fighting, and which one's aren't. My suggestion would be to: 1) see a lawyer and get the law specifics where you live 2) figure out what you feel you must change, if anything (maybe further distress POLICE) 3) figure out what you feel you should change to make life easier, if anything (like 177ellwood's magnet) 4) get your car 5) go live life
I'm all for sticking up for one's rights when it's worth it, but it may not be the best use of time or money to sue the cops where one lives. You have to live with these guys for years to come.
your friend in living with the spirit of the blues, and not cops that are always looking for a way to stick it to you, arthur
I'm 2 for 3 with those officers as of today. Stopped at 1:00 on my way to a car show. I worked the POLICE lettering down a bit more and fogged the stars in a bit too. Now it's the spotlight and the push bar. Even though it is "decorative", it still implies and/or imitates a functional unit. Wow. Still no tickets have been issued.
Hey SCMODS, I just gave you a karma point because with these jerks, it seems you need some good karma.
What do they say about all of the ex-cop Crown Vics running around with the spot lights and push bars? Or all the trucks and other vehicles with that stuff? It might pay to make copies of the laws and keep them in the glove box. Might also pay to schedule a visit with the police chief, dress well, be very polite, and ask him if he or the department can OK the car in writing, or maybe sign a letter to that effect that you or a paralegal draft up. And the magnetic out of service sign is a good idea too.
It might pay to make copies of the laws and keep them in the glove box.
I like this idea. The laws may or may not refer to "implying and/or imitating a functional unit." Check with a lawyer, find out for sure what the laws are, and then you'll know how to proceed when stopped by the cops.
Rather than be confrontational, I propose that you be extra police to the officer, and say "sir, I see where you're coming from, but I got a copy of the laws, and I think I'm in compliance. Section 18.104.22.168 says blah blah, and I think I'm OK there. Is there another section to look at? And look at my out-of-service magnet; I don't think it's required, but I'm really trying to make it obvious that this is not a current police car"
Have never been pulled over in any of my bluesmobiles since 2005. Mind you none of them said "POLICE" on them...... I also do not drive redneck in it or park it in front of bars. My local police wave at me and all is well. Should someday I do get charged with impersonating the police it will mean a court battle with lawyers, etc as it is a serious charge. Do not want to go there .....
Post by chitownjohn on Sept 19, 2011 7:59:15 GMT -5
The most recent posts are probably a good idea, but it is also gambling, puttin all the chips up and seeing what the chief says, if he says it's illegal all the way then what? Then I guess it's a legal issue depending on what the wording is.
Well, after being pulled over again today and having 3 Indiana State Highway patrol officers tell me that my car violates Indiana statutes on civilian operations or some shit, my car is OFFICIALLY ILLEGAL. My car was towed to an impound lot 40 miles away from our house. I have to have a buddy bring his trailer by after work this evening to pick the car up and pay the impound fee. I was ticketed for "operating a civilian vehicle with municipal markings and equipment". I'm done, fuck this noise man.