Supreme Court Ruling: It’s Impact on the Definition of an Illegal Search and Seizure in DUI investigations
For the holidays, Palm Beach County has announced there will be a $100 reward for reporting a suspected drunk driver. At first glance this may seem like a good deal for all involved; the officers receive tips from a good Samaritan and are able to arrest drunk drivers for DUI, and the individual who reported the drunk driver makes a quick $100. The problem is that many of those who will be pulled over will end up actually being innocent, without any reason for a stop or arrest.
According to the recent 8-1 Supreme Court decision, a police officer can mistakenly pull over a vehicle without any violation of the Fourth Amendment‘s protections of civil liberties. The case concerned a 2009 traffic stop near Dobson, N.C. The car’s owner, Nicholas B. Heien, who had been asleep in the back seat while a friend drove, consented to a search, which then led to police discovering a bag containing cocaine. Mr. Heien was charged with attempted drug trafficking.