People sometimes make mistakes while driving. No driver is perfect, and
sometimes other drivers might presume a small mistake while moving down
a highway means a driver is drunk or being reckless. Two men were arrested
on the side of the road after a 911 call from another driver. They pleaded
guilty to drug charges after having their car searched, and are now appealing
their case to the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Supreme Court has previously denied an appeal by officials in another
state after that state's Supreme Court sided with a defendant that
an anonymous 911 call alone was not enough for an officer to pull someone
over for alleged drunk driving. Now, the Supreme Court has decided to
hear the case of these two men and will address the question of whether
allegations of drunk or
reckless driving in a 911 call are cause enough for a traffic stop.
The case that will be taken up in January by the Supreme Court involved
a 911 call about a potential reckless driver. The officer found the alleged
vehicle, but pulled the people over without observing any reckless or
suspected drunk driving behavior. The 911 caller reportedly provided an
accurate description of the car and the license plate. This eventually
led to officers searching the car and reportedly finding marijuana.
Officers must have a reason for pulling a person over. This case will address
whether an anonymous person's tip will be enough to prompt a traffic
stop. Speaking with an experienced New York attorney might be a wise decision
after an arrest.
Source: Associated Press, "Court: Is anonymous tip enough for traffic stop?" Mark Sherman, Oct. 1, 2013