Friday, October 23, 2009

Cyclone Confidential

State v. Rave, no. 09-0415 (Iowa Ct. App. Oct. 21, 2009)

At about 8:42 PM, Ames police observed a blacked out car proceeding through a parking lot in which some enthusiastic Cyclone tailgating was going on. Because of concern for the safety of pedestrians an officer stopped the vehicle and noticed that the driver appeared....well.....soused.

After failing field sobriety tests, Rave was arrested and refused to take the breath test.

Rave moved to suppress, arguing that there was no reasonable cause to stop his vehicle, arguing that the statute that dictates use of headlights from sunup to sunset did not apply in the for pay parking lot he was in. The district court denied his motion to suppress and this appeal followed.

The court noted that the actions of officers were constitutionally acceptable under the community caretaking function which consists of three elements: 1) there was a seizure under the 4th amendment, 2) were the police engaged in bona fide community caretaker activity, and 3) whether the public's needs and interests outweighed the intrusion on privacy.

The court affirmed, finding that the intrusion on Rave's privacy interest was minimal and there was considerable concern that an inebriated pedestrian could be injured by the unlit car.


Post a Comment

<< Home