AirTalk for January 21, 2014

Is an anonymous tip enough to justify a DUI stop?

NTSB Recommends States Reduce Blood Alcohol Level Threshold For Drunk Driving Offenses

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A suspected drunk driver (L) is asked to walk in a straight line as police conduct a field sobriety test on him during a DUI checkpoint on May 23, 2013 in Miami, Florida.

The Supreme Court today heard oral argument in Navarette v. California, a case which asks the question whether a police officer can pull over someone suspected for drunken or reckless driving based solely on an anonymous tip, or does a police officer need to see evidence of dangerous driving to justify a stop. At issue is whether a phone-in tip qualifies as “reasonable suspicion” as stated in the U.S. Constitution.

What do you think? Should the police be allowed to pull someone over for suspected drunken driving based on an anonymous tip alone?


Pam McDonald, a lawyer and a former police officer and prosecutor in South Carolina

Jeff Voll, criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles and Vice President of the California DUI Lawyers Association

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