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Supreme Court Upholds Traffic Stops Based On Anonymous Tips

NTSB Recommends States Reduce Blood Alcohol Level Threshold For Drunk Driving Offenses
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says an anonymous tip can be sufficient to justify a decision by police to pull a car over on suspicion of reckless or drunken driving.

The justices voted 5-4 Tuesday to uphold a traffic stop in northern California in which officers subsequently found marijuana in the vehicle. The officers themselves did not see any evidence of reckless driving.

Justice Clarence Thomas said the tip phoned in to 911 that a Ford pickup truck had run the caller off the road was sufficiently reliable to allow for the traffic stop without violating the driver’s constitutional rights.

Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the dissent in which he called Thomas’ opinion “a freedom-destroying cocktail.”


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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