Our Napa County Creek DUI lawyer has previously discussed cases in which a DUI stop that was based on an anonymous tip was found to be unconstitutional. However, there are cases that have held to the contrary, which your Napa County Creek DUI lawyer can explain to you.
California Supreme Court Case
In a case before the California Supreme Court, the court had to determine whether an anonymous tip provided enough reliable information to support the stop. In the case, a highway patrol officer was alerted to a drunk driver who was anonymously reported as weaving all over the roadway. The tip described the approximate year of the vehicle, the type of vehicle and the approximate location of the vehicle. The officer was geographically ahead of the suspect's location, so he pulled over and waited for a vehicle matching the description to pass him. Just a few moments later, such a vehicle passed him. The officer did not personally observe the driver committing any traffic violations, but he pulled the vehicle over and arrested the driver for suspicion of driving under the influence.
The California court provided four factors for their decision:
The California Supreme Court conceded that the tip was both anonymous and:
- An intoxicated driver posed a greater risk to the public than a report of weapons possession.
- False reports of drunk driving would be rare.
- Being pulled over is not as intrusive as being searched for a weapon.
- The tip was reliable based on the description and location of the vehicle.
If your case involves an anonymous tip, a Napa County Creek DUI lawyer may be able to explain cases that have upheld or not upheld the stop. Call Napa County DUI attorney Blackie Burak at 1-866-BLCKDUI.