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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    1

    Question Pulled Over for an Obscured License Plate and Cited for DUI

    If you're pulled over for having your driver's license obscured by snow, is that a valid basis to investigate the driver for being impaired while operating the vehicle?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,530

    Default Re: Snow Obstructing License Plate New Hampshire

    Was your plate obstructed at the time the police pulled you over or not? I've cleaned the plate on my car and had it obscured by the time I reach the end of my driveway.

    The most probable answer to your question is no. Unless you have proof it wasn't obscured at the time of the stop ya got nothin'

    i suspect the obscured plate was a simple basis to stop you as there were likely to be other signs of your intoxicated condition that gave them reason to have a simple valid reason to stop you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,305

    Default Re: Pulled Over for an Obscured License Plate and Cited for DUI

    Quote Quoting jake1069h
    View Post
    If you're pulled over for having your driver's license obscured by snow, is that a valid basis to investigate the driver for being impaired while operating the vehicle?
    If your license plate was unable to be read, and the law in your state requires the plate to be clear and able to be read, than the stp was most likely valid. The officer is then free to act on the observations he might make when he makes contact with the driver. In other words, when he approached the driver and smelled the odor of alcohol emanating from his person, he was free to detain the driver for further investigation.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Pulled Over for an Obscured License Plate and Cited for DUI

    This is entirely state specific. In Florida, my state, the word "Florida" cannot be covered or obscured in any way. There is even case law that a plate light dangling by a wire was enough to obscure a plate even though it swung back and forth. The reason for the stop doesn't have to be the "real" reason as long as the reason for the stop is legitimate. For example, the officer can pull you over because he saw you leaving a bar if you don't come to a complete stop at the stop sign, even though the stop sign violation was not the real reason. As long as you really didn't come to a complete stop, the traffic stop is still constitutionally sound.

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