Ohio May Ban “Secret Compartments”

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

In the name of the drug war, of course:

A hidden compartment in your vehicle, with or without drugs, could mean big trouble as Ohio officials get serious about slowing down drug-smuggling.

A proposed state law, advocated by Gov. John Kasich, would make it a fourth-degree felony to own a vehicle equipped with secret compartments. A conviction would mean up to 18 months in jail and a potential $5,000 fine . . .

A draft of the law describes a hidden compartment as a “space, box, or other closed container” that is added, modified or attached to an existing vehicle.

Let’s hope no one tells Kasich about the other places smugglers sometimes hide illicit drugs.

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41 Responses to “Ohio May Ban “Secret Compartments””

  1. #1 |  flounder | 

    So a magnetic hide-a-key is now a felony?

  2. #2 |  Difster | 

    Aside from the obvious problem of it being none of their damned business what compartments I’ve got in my car, there is another big problem with this law. They’ll use the secret compartment excuse to seize cars under civil asset forfeiture laws whether there is a secret compartment or not and you won’t be able to get your car back without a lot of time and expense.

    Also, what if you bought a car from someone else and it already had secret compartments? Given that they’re SECRET it’s not reasonable to expect most people would look for such a thing before buying a car.

    Remind me never to go to Ohio.

  3. #3 |  picachu | 

    “Let’s hope no one tells Kasich about the other places smugglers sometimes hide illicit drugs.”

    Let’s hope they do! I’d love to see a ban on assholes,

  4. #4 |  picachu | 

    haha, see what I did there? It’s like a double meaning because, well…you know.

  5. #5 |  Martain Chandler | 

    Up next: criminalizing hidden rooms disguised be comical rotating bookshelves!

  6. #6 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Well, it’s like this. Politicians long ago outlawed everything that really needed to be outlawed. But that left them with nothing to do. So then they started outlawing the things that might make you more likely to commit a real crime (in their minds, at least), so that’s why things like gambling, drugs, prostitution, etc have been outlawed. But, after they did that, they were right back to having nothing to do. So then they started outlawing things that might lead (in their minds, at least) to things that might lead to doing real crimes. They are now in the phase of outlawing things that might lead to things that might lead to things that might lead to things that might lead to your doing real crimes. You’ll be glad to know, this is the last iteration of that particular kind of law. After this they will be outlawing the mere thoughts of committing a crime. And from there it will become illegal to think about something that might lead to your thinking about committing a crime, etc, etc, etc.

  7. #7 |  EBL | 

    This just makes me angry. Why do we have to put up with this? Again, as a public service announcement: How to refuse a search.

  8. #8 |  EBL | 

    picachu, yes I saw what you did there!

  9. #9 |  croaker | 

    @2 That’s not a new idea. Louisiana pulled that shit back in the 90′s. It got so bad that AAA was routing members around the state until the feds got involved.

  10. #10 |  no spam | 

    I’ve got a better idea for a law: no one who ever had a tv show on fox news is allowed get anywhere near a position of power. Ever. That Strickland lost an election to that moralizing asshole just proves why the sheep in this state always have to be looking behind them.

    Just one more reason for me to get the fuck out of this state. Between this nonsense, the fat suburban soccer moms with a sense of entitlement that would make an inner-city welfare queen blush and the OSU football cult, it’s time to leave.

  11. #11 |  Aaron | 

    No spam: I’d be delighted if Judge Andrew Napolitano ended up in a position of power.

  12. #12 |  no spam | 

    The good judge had his own show on fox business, where they coral the libertarians. Fox news prime is where they give 30 to 60 minute programs to hacks, assholes and the bat-shit insane.

  13. #13 |  BMB | 

    I’m just that cynical guy, that credits Kasich with enough intelligence and talent to navigate the piranha-infested waters of a political party to become their governor, and then attribute these shenanigans to pure maliciousness.

    Problem: you can stop anybody and manufacture PC to search with a dowsing dog, but if you do it wholesale the false positives start adding up and people don’t buy the “the dog detected the residual aura of long-gone drugs” line.

    Solution: every vehicle has interior cavities, so make interior cavities illegal so that there’s no such thing as a false positive any more. “The dog echo-located a void.”

  14. #14 |  EBL | 

    Some of these cavities are in some of these law maker’s heads.

  15. #15 |  John Q. Galt | 

    “You can put your weed in there…”

    http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/989051/

  16. #16 |  picachu | 

    EBL “picachu, yes I saw what you did there!”

    Thank you. I NEED affirmation.

  17. #17 |  a_random_guy | 

    They are now in the phase of outlawing things that might lead to things that might lead to things…

    Yes. One solution I like: the total of all laws affecting an individual should be no longer than a typical paperback book, about 100,000 words. Want to legislate something new? Well, then, you’ll just have to find something to delete. If you can’t, then the new law must not be all that important.

    Businesses are different, allow another 100,000 words for the total of all laws affecting any small or medium business, and perhaps another 250,000 words for regulations based on those laws. That’s it, no more allowed.

  18. #18 |  DoubleU | 

    Another vague law created to harm law abiding citizens and not harm criminals.
    space, box, or other closed container” .. so would that include Tupperware for my lunch? Would that include a plastic tub that I keep my jumper cables, rags, tire patch kit and a spare can of oil in?

  19. #19 |  AlgerHiss | 

    More than likely, the quite awful and astoundingly over-hyped Ohio State Highway Patrol is agitating with other LEOs for this bullshit.

    The law and order Republicans, of which I used to belong, make me puke. They are just as disgusting and destructive as Marxian Democrats: Perhaps even moreso.

  20. #20 |  picachu | 

    Maybe they could just make secrets illegal too? Of course the method of enforcement would be left to officer discreetion. After all, what could go wrong?

  21. #21 |  picachu | 

    AlgerHiss “The law and order Republicans, of which I used to belong, make me puke. They are just as disgusting and destructive as Marxian Democrats: Perhaps even more so.”

    Amen!

  22. #22 |  Juice | 

    Oh, la la la la di
    All the candy’s falling out of his rectum
    He keeps it in his rec room to die
    In the light of day all the candy melts away
    Candyland Joe with his ass in a sling for this weekend
    Next week he’ll be available again for business
    By then, oh…

  23. #23 |  jmcross | 

    @ Dave Krueger & a random guy
    Nice tag team for the win. A very real problem with a reasonable solution. I’ve long thought that all laws should sunset after some period of time. Say 4 to 10 yrs depending on the subject. Pair that with a limit on the number of laws and we’re approaching Nirvana. Legislatures are gonna legislate, we might as well keep them busy chasing their tails.

  24. #24 |  Ted S. | 

    I’ve got a better idea for a law: no one who ever had a tv show on fox news is allowed get anywhere near a position of power. Ever.

    Why single out Fox News? Wicked Eliot Spitzer got a show on CNN after he left office in disgrace. And the worst thing is that he had to leave office because of the sex, and not because of the spying on his political opponents.

    The asshole AG who refused to prosecute wound up getting elected governor. Bleah.

  25. #25 |  Marty | 

    this is a preemptive action to prevent people smuggling- eventually, US citizens are going to try to cross the borders to a more free country and the govt isn’t going to want any tax producers to just be able to sneak out.

  26. #26 |  Tim in Ohio | 

    “Just one more reason for me to get the fuck out of this state. Between this nonsense, the fat suburban soccer moms with a sense of entitlement that would make an inner-city welfare queen blush and the OSU football cult, it’s time to leave.”

    Yup. Can’t wait to change my name to “Tim in *anywhere else*”

  27. #27 |  Angry mike | 

    I was really behind Kasich, until this BS! I live in the suburbs of Cleveland, and this just pisses me off.
    Picachu I really liked what you did there!
    John Galt…… are you following me ;-)

  28. #28 |  Veracitor | 

    So much for those little magnetic key boxes you stick under the car in case you lose your keyring.

  29. #29 |  Bob | 

    We had some jackass (Jim Waring, career pol: McCain chief of staff, az leg termed out, then phx city council) in AZ try this as well.

  30. #30 |  Colt | 

    In their definition it doesnt even say that the secret compartment has to be hidden. Using that definition a toolbox on a truck is illegal unless it came with the truck.

  31. #31 |  Colt | 

    It could even be construed to mean if I have a box in my car I am wrong. Have fun moving without boxes.

  32. #32 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Hmm. Arbitrary and capricious perhaps? Hey Kasich, I got your secret compartment right here!

  33. #33 |  John C. Randolph | 

    “The law and order Republicans,

    This has nothing to do with law and order. Its only purpose is to provide one more pretext for property theft under color of authority. Frankly, the fact that the American people ever tolerated “civil forfeiture” or the “war on drugs” in the first place is a clear indication of how far we’ve fallen.

    -jcr

  34. #34 |  Cyto | 

    #2 | Difster |

    They’ve been using the existence of secret compartments as an excuse for asset forfeiture since it first began 30 years ago. The first story I saw about this was on 60 minutes in the 80′s. A lady had just bought a white LTD at a police auction in Louisiana. 2 weeks later she was pulled over while travelling I-10 and her car searched under the pretext of “there’s a lot of drug trafficking on this road. They found a triangular hole cut in the corner of the trunk, so they seized he car because that’s how drug smugglers do it.

    The reporters obtained a similar car and drove it down the same stretch of highway. As soon as they entered this sherrif’s domain, they were tailed and harassed by a deputies who eventually pulled them over for “driving erratically and changing lanes”. Of course, their 5 video cameras disputed this. He offered to let them off with a warning.

    When confronted with the video, the sheriff saw nothing wrong with his team’s actions. Neither did the DA’s office, who take 1/3 of the cut from asset forfeiture. Neither did the county’s judges, who take the final third cut.

    Amazingly, nothing has changed.

  35. #35 |  Cyto | 

    Also, the police have to contend with that nasty “closed container” interpretation of the 4th amendment. Prohibiting closed containers is a neat way around this problem.

  36. #36 |  Cynic in New York | 

    If the state needed another excuse to seize people’s property they just gave themselves one. What a joke.

    #12

    The fact that they canned the Judge’s show shows that conservatives (both Neo and Paleo) are a much of an enemy of libertarians as liberals are.

  37. #37 |  jb | 

    What’s to stop crooked cops from seizing a car, building in a secret compartment after the fact, then claiming that the damage to the car from the building was actually caused by searching for the compartment?

    The only thing I can see stopping them is that that’s more work than just saying there’s a secret compartment and tying up the case in red tape so no one ever looks.

    Am I missing something?

  38. #38 |  Monday Grab Bag of Links … | The Pretense of Knowledge | 

    [...] Occupy Crowd Should Be Protesting Against Big Government Ten Reasons to Dislike the Federal Reserve Ohio May Ban “Secret Compartments” Green company gets $390M subsidies, lays off [...]

  39. #39 |  DPirate | 

    Would include adding a camper top, or tarp, or tool box. Aftermarket parts like gas tanks and carburetors or air filter systems. New tires would be illegal, as would changing a flat. You could not remove the ashtrays and cover the holes.

  40. #40 |  Mark | 

    This zippy pinhead law really is pro-criminal in numerous regards. It is God-sent to car burglars.

    It outlaws gun safes, so a car burglar can easily steal guns just by figuring out who has a carry permit and wait for the person to go into a location where it is not legal to carry it.

    Definitely, robbers should follow managers of jewelry stores and other collectable businesses and transactions. Of course, transporting money (financial organizations) also could not be hidden and secured.

    So just figure the government is cutting a deal with various criminal elements – while falsely calling it a anti-drug program.

  41. #41 |  Linksplat – 01/03/12 « Cubik's Rube | 

    [...] The Governor of Ohio wants to make it illegal for your car to have a “secret compartment”. There doesn’t even have to be [...]

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