Interdiction Stops on Interstate a Real Threat to Bonnaroo Attendees

Bonnaroo is only a few days away! We’ve been listening to “Roo Radio” since it started on June 1st, since none of us can attend the festival this year. They are anticipating close to 90,000 people descending upon Manchester, TN. For the people driving to Bonnaroo the dangers will lie all along the Interstate, especially on Rte. 111 right after you turn off I-40; the police are just itching to pull you over for an interdiction stop. If you have never heard of that term before, it is about time you learned it. It’s possible that an interdiction stop is what will land you in jail if you are suspected of doing anything wrong.

So what is an interdiction stop?

The interdiction stop is usually associated with drug stops, but it can be used any time the police think a driver may be guilty of criminal activity. There is even a website dedicated to helping cops plan the perfect interdiction drug stop in order to rack up numbers. Travelers to and from Bonnaroo grounds should be aware that it is perfectly legal for police to perform an “investigative stop” provided they have reasonable cause – and reasonable cause has some leeway. Thus, any law enforcement official may find a way to claim “reasonable cause” when it comes to a Bonnaroo stop. Some of the more common reasons include:

  • Speeding
  • Driving too far below the speed limit
  • Window obstructions (like an air freshener)
  • Window tinting
  • Broken taillights or headlights
  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Weaving in and out of lanes
  • Tailgating a car in front of you

Once the police have pulled you over, they will look for indications that you are drunk, armed or carrying drugs. They may even use a drug-sniffing dog around your car, and then ask you if they can search your car for drugs based on the dog’s response.

State Troopers and Putnam County Sherriff’s Deputies are all looking to make a big bust, so they will pull over as many vehicles they can. In our experience, the officers – upon finding nothing illegal in the car – may not even write a ticket. But they are absolutely looking for a reason to search you and your vehicle, which makes it crucial that you follow all traffic laws while riding along the Interstate. First of all do not break the law by carrying illegal items; secondly always obey the rules of the road for your safety and the safety of the public at large.

Above all things, remember this: you are under no obligation to consent to a search – ever. It is always prudent to comply with a law enforcement officer’s commands, however you have the right not to incriminate yourself. You also have the right to speak to a lawyer, and to have all questions directed to your attorney. Here at Lowery, Lowery & Cherry, PLLC in Lebanon, we have helped people in the very same position as you. If you find yourself in need of legal counsel after being stopped on your way to or from the Bonnaroo Music Festival, please contact Jeff Cherry for more information.