What to expect on the drive in police wise

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What to expect on the drive in police wise

Postby c1dh3d » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:36 pm

First off before any hisses start, this question is not meant to aid in any illegal activities.

This will be my first ever festival, and I have heard stories of cops lining main roads to festivals, and pulling over car after car at random with the hopes of a quick bust. I'm not worried about anything beyond having a police officer emptying out my car on the side of the highway, and making me repack all my belongings into their tightly fit places - I'd just like to hear of others experiences with the drive in and out.

There seems to be really only way main stretch of highway in and out of BRC, and it seems like that is probably where most cops would sit, and pull people over for DUI's.

So what's your guys experiences with the ride in between Reno and BRC?
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:45 pm

Okay, you'll be crossing over reservation land and they will nail you for driving one mile over the limit. They take cash payments right then and there, but those are, I understand, large.
447 itself is a two lane highway with soft shoulders, so pulling over is dicey.
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Postby Sham » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:55 pm

Try to stay in clusters of cars and work very hard not to look stoned or drunk. If the prey in front and behind you look more vulnerable, then they are more likely to get stopped and stripped searched. I usually wait until I'm inside BRC to request the strip search.
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Postby phil » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:57 pm

I've never been stopped in 15 years. My understanding from others is that they do stop you for speeding, so I scrupulously slow down at every speed limit sign going into the little hamlets that pass for towns out there. I expect the reservations make most of their budget the week of the Burn. :->

Drive safely. There are cows in the road. If you're driving at night, don't drive faster than you can stop when you see something in your headlamps. Seriously. If a rabbit jumps in front of your, just nail it. Swerves are very bad on two-lane blacktop with no shoulders. You're likely to roll if you hit dirt at highway speeds.
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Postby Savannah » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:12 pm

In 6 trips, have only come close to getting in trouble once. The first car in a line of 4 or 5 vehicles got popped for speeding (looked like 10 mph over--nothing extreme, but it doesn't matter). We were towards the back--not sure if we were speeding, but quite possibly. Anyway, we got lucky.

The closer you get, the more stupid it is to speed, with the cows out there. In 2001, friends of mine hit a deer on the way in, killed it, screwed up the jeep big-time, and broke a wrist.
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Postby c1dh3d » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:17 pm

So instead of going 2-3 over the limit to not look suspicious, drive 2-3 under to not give them reason. I was half way considering stopping in Reno for the Sunday night before and sleeping there, and driving in on Monday (so I get one last bed rest before the fest), but with my car PACKED full of stuff I'd probably just be staring out the window waiting for some to break in like :shock:

No bull shit searches or anything though huh? I've heard some absolute horror stories from people going to much smaller festivals. Definitely planning on showing up completely sober though, that is the last stretch of America I'd want to drive down with a breathalyzer :lol:

Thanks for the responses so far!
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Postby CapSmashy » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:18 pm

Common sense type stuff is all you need.

Make sure you car has current tags and inspected if applicable.

If the speed limit sign says 25, go 24, maybe even 23 to hedge your bets on tribal land.

If you are driving at night, make sure every light is working on the vehicle.

If you are carrying a load, make sure it is well secured.

If you are hauling a trailer, make sure it is current, the lights work, and the load is secure.

Don't be afraid to wave at the police you see.

If you get stopped, be courteous and polite to the officer(s). Don't give them a reason to escalate the stop beyond a citation.
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Postby TomServo » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:20 pm

Just observe the speed limits, and like phil said, hit that stupid rabbit! Are spots where swerving is NOT an option!


You probably won't see a single cop car till you pass the motel in Gerlach.
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Postby Trishntek » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:46 pm

Seeing LEO along 447 should be no surprise the entire distance. Enjoy the view and keep it mellow. You might feel like you want to race to get there,,, just remember that once you get to Gerlach the whole world slows anyway. Cops aren't going to hassle you unless you draw attention to yourself by doing stupid things.

You'll have a week (or more) to party. Be patient. Be safe. Be sober for the drive.
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Postby mdmf007 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:46 pm

Got my first effing ticket going to BM this year.... had to pay 251 bucks because I deployed and forgot to pay it.

slow down.
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Postby AntiM » Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:28 pm

We stop at the Love's truckstop to top off with fuel for the run up 447. There is almost always a cop or two there, or BLM rangers, not to bust people, but to fuel up, get coffee. Perfectly normal. We always say hi. An RV full of virgins pulled in to fuel and get water, and the pretty young hippies tumbled out already wearing their playa gear, including young women with no underpants. Smelled strongly of smoke and obviously were already dipping into the party favors. We saw the cops size them up, but they said nothing. We all left Love's about the same time. Guess which vehicle got pulled over in Wadsworth? Right in front of us. I don't know if they were speeding, but the cops sure found an excuse quickly enough.

You are not on the playa until you are through those gates. Even then you can get popped for a dui if you crack a beer before you park at your campsite. Don't start the party early if you are the driver. There is plenty of time, take it.

Also, removing your clothes in small town Nevada just isn't cool. The truckers were sure amused.
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Postby Eric » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:07 pm

AntiM wrote:You are not on the playa until you are through those gates. Even then you can get popped for a dui if you crack a beer before you park at your campsite. Don't start the party early if you are the driver. There is plenty of time, take it.


Heed these words. There are police on the playa near the Gate & near Greeters with night-vision goggles. There are stories from last year of them pulling over people who cracked their beers when they got off the black-top. We passed a cluster of police SUV's between Greeters & BRC- simply sitting there in the road, letting people know they were there.

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Postby mdmf007 » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:47 pm

doesnt matter where your at in Nevada. if your in the sand dunes riding in a dune buggy if your drinking a beer its an open container. If your driving you can get a DUI.

Being on playa isnt an open invite to boozeing in the car.
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Postby Turnip » Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:59 pm

In 2009 we were hitting that sad long stretch after Fernly in the early morning hours. It was still dark out. There was a long line of vehicles that were taking that left hand turn while I was slightly ahead of them and took my right hand turn before them. I remembered the tips of "going 2 under the limit" and had a monster RV towing an over loaded trailer behind me flashing his brights at me trying to get me to speed up. I was adamant, and continued driving very carefully, terrified about the "open range" nonsense I had heard about. (We don't have crap like that where I'm from.)

Eventually 3 trucks passed me and the RV, and they sped off into the distance. Monster RV Man stayed behind me, riding my ass still. Not too much longer after that we passed one of those areas where I guess you're to pull over and put chains on your tires in the winter (again, something completely foreign to me) and the RV pulled over there. He must have been really frustrated with my cautious driving.

A bit before Empire I saw 2 of the 3 trucks that passed us were pulled over. I waved as I passed. We made it to Gerlach perfectly fine. Then sat in line for 3 hours for gas.
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Postby AntiM » Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:14 am

Gassing up in Gerlach seems like such a hassle. We top off in Fernley, even with an SUV and a trailer we do alright.

We had BLM rangers passing up and blowing by the line of cars right about the upgrade just past Pyramid Lake where you go around the big hill and start the straight shot north. No lights, but they were in a hurry. Several trucks decided that they could jump too, being behind the po-pos. Nope, saw at least one of them pulled over.

The bright light thing is only for interstates, not for two lane highways. It shouldn't mean speed up, it should mean get your ass over into the granny lane. No granny lane, no high beams in the rear view. Some people are idiots.
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Postby Sic Pup » Tue Mar 01, 2011 6:11 am

AntiM wrote:We stop at the Love's truckstop to top off with fuel for the run up 447. There is almost always a cop or two there, or BLM rangers, not to bust people, but to fuel up, get coffee.


Yup, I met one of our campmates at Love's last year. We had planned on leaving at ten but finally threw in the towel at midnight after having unsuccessfully waited for another campmate (unbeknownst to us she didn't bother to call, or answer her phone to tell us was already on Playa due to early gate open). He pulled out and I followed, before we even hit the first bend in the road we were lit up. I pulled over but the cruiser passed me by and grabbed my campmate. I don't think we were speeding but the LEO thought the turn out of Love's with the trailer was unsafe (he evidently was watching from a distance). He got off with a warning. My NYC driving "skills" may have contributed to that outcome as he made mention to the driver that his friend (moi) precariously parked on the side of the road waiting for him was also not safe.

I don't think one could have speeded if they wanted to given the traffic heading through Gerlach at that hour. I found it very difficult to maintain 5mph once through the gates, but the friendly but stern warning from the greeter and the numerous cars pulled over on playa provided ample incentive to curb my enthusiasm.

I like to party as much as the next person (probably more) but having had several friends who have lost children/loved ones at the hands of callous, selfish drunk drivers I find the notion that people need to be reminded rather sad. Folk need to make it to the playa before safety becomes third.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:37 am

Sic Pup wrote:I like to party as much as the next person (probably more) but having had several friends who have lost children/loved ones at the hands of callous, selfish drunk drivers I find the notion that people need to be reminded rather sad. Folk need to make it to the playa before safety becomes third.

The horror (for me) is that I lost two of the people I love best in two separate incidents where there was alcohol involved, but not over the limit.
So, um, those "buzzed driving is drunk driving" billboards may have a point.
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Postby Major Krash » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:41 am

No "festival check-points" or "random stops"...but do not litter on the Reservation (or speed at all - zero tolerance)

I have had run-ins 4 times (over 10 years); all earned in my opinion.

3 were during a break-down on the side of the road...they were stopping to see if I needed assistance. In these situations, a polite and sober reply is enough to send them on their way (assuming you do not need assistance). The last time my trailer lights were out, after dark. That time I NEEDED to be stopped (no ticket, which was nice, probably due to my SAR stickers and radios in my truck).

I don't speed, I don't party while driving (and I do not let passengers either), and my loads are secure (tho' often excessive). They are out there, if you give them an opportunity they will say hello. What happens after that depends largely on you...
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Postby graidawg » Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:52 am

probably a stupid question i know, but can you drink anything while driving? cola squish or whatever non alcoholic? or for that matter can the passengers drink alcohol? i noticed the open container phrase being used a few times, just out of curiosity as im going to be begging a lift a bit closer to the time probably
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Postby lucky420 » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:07 am

yes you can drink non-alcoholic beverages while you drive. No your passengers cannot drink alcohol while you drive. Open container pertains to anyone drinking alcohol in the car...
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Postby dr.placebo » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:23 am

12 trips to the playa so far, and no tickets. Not even pulled over. There are stories about cops behaving badly, but I've not seen it yet. I have seen people pulled over for good reason, and people pulled over where I did not know the reason.

My theory echos the others here: let someone else get the ticket. Don't drink and don't speed and be careful. I don't think that it has much connection to LEOs, but buy an Indian taco at least in one direction.
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Postby Savannah » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:46 am

The horror (for me) is that I lost two of the people I love best in two separate incidents where there was alcohol involved, but not over the limit.
So, um, those "buzzed driving is drunk driving" billboards may have a point.


Agreed. Something I think about is that being buzzed slows down reaction time. Maybe part of the danger of being buzzed, even below the limit, is that one can't take evasive action as quickly or control a spin when someone else out there--drunk, tired, or just an asshat--behaves badly. Most people who've been driving for a while have a story in which they would have been creamed if they'd even been one second slower to react.
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Postby Elderberry » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:46 am

dr.placebo wrote:12 trips to the playa so far, and no tickets. Not even pulled over. There are stories about cops behaving badly, but I've not seen it yet. I have seen people pulled over for good reason, and people pulled over where I did not know the reason.

My theory echos the others here: let someone else get the ticket. Don't drink and don't speed and be careful. I don't think that it has much connection to LEOs, but buy an Indian taco at least in one direction.


Same for my partner and I, though we've only had 6 and 8 trips. Additionally, I don't recall anyone in our camp ever getting a ticket or being pulled over in all the time we have been going either.
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Postby Parasitoid » Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:55 am

it seems like your question has been answered but I have had a similar experience to most:

Don't do anything that would get you pulled over in default and you wont get pulled over at BRC
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Postby Mojojita » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:09 pm

We greeters have been making a special effort to warn people about having open containers while driving between the gate and their campsite since that has been a police target area for the past few years. The most prevalent time is at opening when people have been partying in the line at the Gate and in D lot and don't want to dump their open can or bottle once they get underway. If you have cans, empty or not, Greeters are glad to dispose of them for you.

Also, please, please - don't get out of your vehicle before you get to the Gate or to the Greeter's station, especially in low vision conditions. I have seen people run over by their own friends. Makes for a great story later, assuming you can still talk.
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Postby c1dh3d » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:10 pm

That is some great feedback guys, thanks so much :)
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Postby graidawg » Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:15 pm

c1dh3d wrote:That is some great feedback guys, thanks so much :)



ditto! when its a serious question the (e)playa provides (i've been waiting to use that one)
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Postby mode-of-operation » Tue Mar 01, 2011 1:03 pm

Aight! The law is here to answer your querries! I can answer just about any question in regards to law enforcement. But these are some common rule to live by when encountering one of my fellow officers.

1. Be nice! Plain and simple. Yes we can be assholes but be nice. I've let more people go just because they were nice. It doesn't always work as myself a have bad encounters with other agencies but for the most part it's been positive.

2. If you don't break the law you have nothing to worry about. You know when you're fucking up so don't do it. If you break the law and get caught, take the hit, smile and hope for the best.

3. Don't be a smart ass or try to out smart me. Nothing offends me more that a wise guy who thinks they're smarter. You may be, but I have the pen.

4. Honesty is the best policy. If I think you're lying I will get offended and work a little harder to put you in a bind.

5. The power is in the pen! That's all I'll say on that one.

6. No matter what, I will win in the end even if it's me only writting a ticket so keep the first 3 rules in mind. We really don't care if you fight the ticket and win. I myself think that if I had to take the time and write the ticket and you take the time and fight it, I acheived my goal in making you go out of your way. I get overtime to go to court so I'm happy, not to sure how you will be.


I know this comes off as harsh but it's the truth. I love going to burning man and I definately don't fit the mold for your average person who would go to burning man. My co-workers think I'm nuts/hippie and I've been drug tested a few times after returning home. (always negative BTW) I used to be hell on wheels but 10 yrs of dealing with other peoples shit has made me kind of hard but it also makes me not give a shit which makes B-man and myself a perfect fit. Nothing like a place where I can leave my professional life behind and look forward to when I can be free again.

Police are just like anyone else. We have problems just like everyone else. We are paid to do a job and sometimes it's catching you breaking the law. There are times we don't like it cause we are made to do it against our own personal morals. There are times we enjoy it becuase of our own personal morals. You don't hate a freind who may have a different opinion than you so don't hate us cause we may have one. When my encounter with you is complete, I've forgotten about you. You, however, continue to think about me long after I'm gone.

So to end my rant, be nice, smile and have a nice day.
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Postby MyDearFriend » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:02 pm

mode-of-operation wrote: ...a bunch of really really good stuff and...

have a nice day.


Thank you, sir! 8) And thank you all. I have been laying awake at night thinking about my ten-hour drive up from Vegas but now I feel better. I am used to seeing lots of LEOs of all types here in DC, but I don't know too much about the situation out west. Information always helps!
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Postby Boijoy » Tue Mar 01, 2011 2:12 pm

::: waving at the nice copper ::::: :D
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