In Normal, Illinois, 18-year-old Julie Bisbee won a lawsuit that claimed she was falsely arrested. Bisbee and her friends were leaving a house party when they were stopped by a police officer, who was responding to a “hang-up” 911 call placed from inside the house. Though the officer did not smell alcohol OR see any problems with the girls, he directed them back into the house.
At the door to the home, the deputies asked to come into the house, saying the weather was bad. Inside the home, they saw beer bottles and then a beer keg in the bathtub. At this point, the deputies took everyone at the party down to the local jail for breathalyzers and body searches. Those who had traces of alcohol were charged with underage drinking.
Bisbee claimed that her trip to the station constituted a false arrest. This claim was supported by the judge, who wrote that the law specifically forbids what the police did with Miss Bisbee that night. He said that the officers had no probable cause to order Miss Bissbee into the house in the first place, nor to hold her in custody.
According to a civil professor at the University of Illinois, the officers needed a reason, such as a beer bottle or the smell of alcohol in the car, to force Bisbee and her friends out of her car and into the home.
If the police try to stop or arrest you, THEY MUST HAVE PROBABLE CAUSE. If they don’t and they still arrest you, then sue them!