Entrapment

In today’s episode Chuck explains entrapment, and explains common misconceptions about what entrapment means in relation to DUIs.

Entrapment Video Transcription

Hi friends, happy new year!

I got a phone call today, which actually I have discussed this many times. It’s the issue of entrapment relative to DUI cases. Police officers, not typically, but a lot of them will hang outside of a bar, or nightclub, or even a restaurant.¬† Because it’s easy pickings on people who have drank and are driving. They watch somebody come out of the door, watch them get in their car. Then decide, okay, I’m going to follow that person. They follow them and invariably¬† there is a traffic infraction.

People think this means they were entrapped. Well they weren’t entrapped. Let me define entrapment for you — and I’ll give you this in a hypothetical. If you are predisposed to commit a crime, let’s say sell a kilo of coke, and an undercover cop comes up to you and says “Hey, I want to buy a kilo of coke from you.” and you’re a coke dealer, that’s not entrapment. But if you’re not a coke dealer, you don’t ever sell cocaine, you never have sold cocaine.

This reminds me of John Delorean years ago, some of you won’t remember that but some will. The FBI or the DEA, I don’t recall, entrapped John Delorean. He needed money for his Delorean Motor Company. They kept pushing him in regard to a cocaine deal and finally he gave in. In other words, the law enforcement officers overcame his will to not get involved in illegal activity. Now, that is the definition of entrapment. Because he wasn’t predisposed to commit that crime, and ultimately they pushed him so hard that he gave in and he did it, and he got caught.

In a DUI situation, just because you are in a bar drinking and the police decide to hangout outside of the bar and then follow the unlucky person who leaves the bar and gets into their car, you have not been entrapped. If a police officer does this, invariably the stop will be because of a swerve or somebody making a wide right turn or a wide left turn. The most common reason for police pulling people over in the evening is not pulling into that lane closest to you when you make your turns.

So then you commit a traffic violation, you get pulled over, and it goes from there. Odds are if you’re in a nightclub and you walk out and get into your car, you’ve been drinking. So they know they have a great chance of pulling over somebody who is probably impaired. So it’s not entrapment. I keep getting telephone calls, and I have through the years saying “I was entrapped because they were waiting for me outside the bar.” Man, they can wait for you anywhere. Just because it is a drinking establishment doesn’t entrap you into under the influence.

So I hope you remember that. If there is a cop in the parking lot when you leave and you drank, and you intend to drive, call Uber, call a cab. Do something, but don’t get behind the wheel of that car. You shouldn’t drink and drive anyhow because you don’t want to be accused of it. You don’t want to have to hire an attorney and go through the entire mess of a trial.

Thank you.