Snow-Covered License Plate Stop Leads To DUI - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Snow-Covered License Plate Stop Leads To DUI

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a DUI conviction in the case of a man who was stopped by Bozeman police because his license plate was obstructed by snow and a trailer hitch.
    
Mark Haldane's appeal challenged the "particularized suspicion" police officers used to pull him over on Jan. 12, 2011.
    
The Supreme Court upheld the conviction in a Feb. 12 ruling, noting state law requires vehicles to have "license plates conspicuously displayed" and that the plate "may not be obstructed from plain view."
    
Haldane's appeal relied on Justice James Nelson's concurrences in two cases in which obstructed plates were part of the reason for the stop. In one case Nelson suggested that obscured plates don't constitute particularized suspicion for anything "except that Montanans often driven in foul weather and on foul roads."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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