For many years I have been asked about the legality of radar detection units within vehicles in Indiana. To anwer the question concisely, the answer is that radar detectors are presently legal within all vehicles in Indiana.
At this time although some states prohibit such units entirely and others make the distinction between commercial and private vehicles, Indiana has no restrictions on the permissible use of radar detectors. With that being said, please allow me to take this opportunity to provide some “street smart” advice as to the display of such devices in relation to the stop and investigation of individuals pursuant to dui arrests and/or traffic investigations within the state of Indiana.
There is an old phrase that I am fond of relating being, “don’t let the truth get in the way of reality.” Within the context of the display of radar detection units within Indiana and presumably elsewhere, I would strongly suggest that discretion be used in the display of these otherwise legal devices meant to evade the scrutiny of law enforcement.
In my years of experience as a dui lawyer and extensive contacts with Indiana law enforcement officials, I can state without reservation that exhibiting this otherwise legal device prominently on one’s dasboard could be inviting trouble.
Anyone employing reason and common sense understands that drivers purchase such radar detection units for the sole purpose of avoiding traffic detection and ultimate questioning for speeding. To take matters further, avoiding such traffic stops also correspondingly aids in shielding one from potential investigative questioning that could otherwise lead to apprehension for operating a motor vehicle at or above a blood alcohol content of .08 and/or other illegal conduct through use of a motor vehicle.
With that being the case, one of the surest ways to invite police monitoring bordering on harrassment is to invite the scrutiny of driving activity of one making no effort to conceal such a radar apparatus. I have heard of cases where police have trailed such individuals to the border of one county only to have deputies from the next county dispatched to pick up the trail of such an individual determined to uncover any and all traffic infractions such to justify a police stop despite the protective detection unit mounted upon one’s dashboard.
While I would hope that the above referenced examples are extreme cases of the potential pitfalls of allowing a radar detection unit to come to the attention of law enforcement, I take great pains to obstruct such an otherwise legal device from view should I observe a traffic cop in my own rear view mirror.
By no means do I suggest that anyone be in fear of utilizing any otherwise legal radar apparatus when operating a motor vehicle within the state of Indiana. What I am communicating is that it is imperative to be aware that you may encounter Indiana communities that do not take kindly to the use of such devices. As a result, though legal, you or one you care for can be better served with information as to the effective use of these units as a means to avoid police detection as opposed to inviting potential scrutiny.