Q: Can the cops legally search your car in a DUI stop?
A: At a DWI stop, most jurisdictions have the defendant’s vehicle towed or impounded. Police will often perform searches and claim they are for “inventory” purposes (so no one can claim items were lost/stolen at impound), or for “officer safety” (to ensure no weapons or dangerous materials are in the vehicle). Also, if probable cause for another crime presents (e.g. smell of marijuana), police may execute a search for the drugs. All of these searches are controlled by the Fourth Amendment and their constitutionality is greatly dependent on the specific facts of each case. Speak to your attorney for a reading if the facts and the law.
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