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If you go out with your friends for a few drinks, one of the things you may keep an eye out for is the police. If you see police at a facility regularly, it’s likely that they are there waiting to see if anyone is coming out drunk and heading to their vehicle.
While some people might think that this is entrapment, the reality is that it is not. There are no current laws that prevent police officers from waiting outside of bars or looking for drunk drivers coming from those locations.
In fact, it’s very common to see police officers have patrol areas around busy bars and venues, because they are working hard to keep drunk drivers off the road.
While the police can wait for drunk drivers, they can’t randomly stop you
One thing to keep in mind is that the police can be on the lookout for drunk drivers, but they can’t just pull you over because you’ve come from the bar. They still need to have a legal reason to stop you.
For example, if an officer sees you drink a shot, stumble out to your vehicle, start the vehicle and begin driving, the officer could pull you over. They’d have reason to believe that you are too intoxicated to be behind the wheel.
On the other hand, if you walk out to your vehicle normally and drive away, the officer may not have grounds for a traffic stop.
When is it entrapment?
These actions don’t constitute entrapment, and they won’t unless the officer actively encourages you to commit a crime.
For example, if the officer kept buying you drinks and the followed you out of the bar to stop and arrest you, then that could constitute entrapment. Similarly, if they pressured you to get into your vehicle and driver home knowing that they’d stop you for driving drunk, that could be entrapment as well.
Be aware of those around you. If you feel pressured to drive or think an officer may be monitoring you at the bar, know your rights. Additionally, if you do drink, find a sober ride home to eliminate the risk of a DUI.