Apparently not, at least in St. Louis. Brett Darrow, 19, was detained as a drunken-driving checkpoint because he declined to tell an officer where he was going. Darrow's answer: "I don't wish to discuss my personal life with you, officer."
That was enough to get Darrow ordered out of his car and detained for about 12 minutes. According to this write-up in the Newspaper.com, billed as "a journal of the politics of driving," Darrow videotaped the encounter, and has a transcript of the stop:
Darrow is considering filing suit against St. Louis County Police.
"I'm scared to drive for fear of being stopped at another checkpoint and arrested while doing nothing illegal," Darrow told TheNewspaper. "We're now guilty until we prove ourselves innocent to these checkpoint officers."
On that late November night, videotape confirms that Darrow had been ordered out of his vehicle after telling a policeman, "I don't wish to discuss my personal life with you, officer." Another officer attempted to move Darrow's car until he realized, "I can't drive stick!" The officer took the opportunity to undertake a thorough search of the interior without probable cause. He found nothing.
When Darrow asked why he was being detained, an officer explained, "If you don't stop running your mouth, we're going to find a reason to lock you up tonight."
The threats ended when Darrow informed officers that they were being recorded. After speaking to a supervisor Darrow was finally released.