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  1. #1
    bigj2441 is offline Junior Member
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    TSA "VIPR" Checkpoints

    Can you refuse a TSA search at a "VIPR" checkpoint outside of an airport environment (ferry, bus, train, etc)? If you do refuse, does TSA have the authority to deny boarding as a result of refusing to be searched? I'm specifically concered about a ferry terminal environment. I live in the St. John US Virgin Islands and periodically TSA does VIPR checkpoints at the ferry terminal on St. Thomas for the St. Thomas-St. John ferries. The ferry is the ONLY method of public transportation between the 2 islands. If I go to St. Thomas to shop do I have to go through TSA patdowns and bag searches as a condition to board a ferry to return home? If I refuse to be searched (and have my rights violated) can I be refused boarding and thus unable to return to my home?
  2. #2
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    The answer is maybe. I'm sorry. Apparently Transportation Security Officers and Behavior Detection Officers can. Figure out which ones those are when they all wear the same uniform.
  3. #3
    bigj2441 is offline Junior Member
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    I forgot to add they also have customs officers there demanding ID and asking questions about immigration status. Which is odd because St Thomas to St John is a domestic route.
  4. #4
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    You have no absolute right to take a ferry from St John to St Thomas. If you don't like security then you can charter your own boat, seaplane, or helicopter to travel.

    Yes, you may be (probably WILL BE) denied boarding. We do this for commuter trains in my area all the time. A commuter may refuse a search, but if they do they have to find another mode of transportation.
  5. #5
    BigMouthWino is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigj2441 View Post
    Can you refuse a TSA search at a "VIPR" checkpoint outside of an airport environment (ferry, bus, train, etc)? If you do refuse, does TSA have the authority to deny boarding as a result of refusing to be searched? I'm specifically concered about a ferry terminal environment. I live in the St. John US Virgin Islands and periodically TSA does VIPR checkpoints at the ferry terminal on St. Thomas for the St. Thomas-St. John ferries. The ferry is the ONLY method of public transportation between the 2 islands. If I go to St. Thomas to shop do I have to go through TSA patdowns and bag searches as a condition to board a ferry to return home? If I refuse to be searched (and have my rights violated) can I be refused boarding and thus unable to return to my home?
    Very interesting reading. I hope others will weigh in on this topic. From what I read only two classes of VIPR personnel have arrest authority and you wouldn't have contact with either of them at a ferry terminal. So you are free to simply turn around and walk away if you do not wish to submit to their checkpoint. You would have to wait for them to go away to utilize that method of transport. They seem to be spread pretty thin though, are you actually encountering them out there in the islands or is this just banter you hear from expats on your trips?
  6. #6
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigj2441 View Post
    Can you refuse a TSA search at a "VIPR" checkpoint outside of an airport environment (ferry, bus, train, etc)? If you do refuse, does TSA have the authority to deny boarding as a result of refusing to be searched? I'm specifically concered about a ferry terminal environment. I live in the St. John US Virgin Islands and periodically TSA does VIPR checkpoints at the ferry terminal on St. Thomas for the St. Thomas-St. John ferries. The ferry is the ONLY method of public transportation between the 2 islands. If I go to St. Thomas to shop do I have to go through TSA patdowns and bag searches as a condition to board a ferry to return home? If I refuse to be searched (and have my rights violated) can I be refused boarding and thus unable to return to my home?
    Of course you can be refused boarding. The whole purpose is to protect the lives of all of the passengers.

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