Told it was an anonymous tip by the arresting officer. Just the license plate and not my name.
Generally, a corroborated tip by an anonymous citizen informant will be enough to support a traffic stop in Iowa. It provides reasonable suspicion to support a brief, investigatory stop. The officer needn't observe any illegal driving prior to pulling over the car. This has been the standard for the past decade after the Iowa Supreme Court decided State v. Wilshire in 2001. The following language is illustrative of Iowa's view on anonymous reports of alleged impaired drivers:
In contrast to the report of an individual in possession of a gun, an anonymous report of an erratic or drunk driver on the highway presents a qualitatively different level of danger, and concomitantly greater urgency for prompt action. In the case of a concealed gun, the possession itself might be legal, and the police could, in any event, surreptitiously observe the individual for a reasonable period of time without running the risk of death or injury with every passing moment. An officer in pursuit of a reportedly drunk driver on a freeway does not enjoy such a luxury. Indeed, a drunk driver is not at all unlike a “bomb,” and a mobile one at that.
That's not to say that the stop shouldn't be challenged. It's just that you should have an attorney who specializes in OWI, preferably a member of the National College for DUI Defense, review the facts and circumstances. For example, if the caller did not reveal the basis for his knowledge, i.e, that he was observing a crime in progress, open to pubic view, then there may be opening to invalidate the stop. The report of a vehicle simply driving near a bar may not be enough. It just depends on what the caller actually revealed.
No. However, it is common place for the arresting officer to follow you long enough to develop independent cause to initiate the stop. Get a really good DUI lawyer as soon as possible. It is difficult to drive for any distance without touching the line , speeding, not coming to a complete stop etc.
No. There has to be more to this story. Someone does not call the cops and say "I saw a car near a bar. License plate is 1234567. I don't want to give my name, bye." What did they tell the cops that they saw? That call will be recorded. Did the dispatch tell the cop on the radio everything the caller said or just description of the car/plate? These details will help an attorney analyze the facts to the law and tell you if the stop was legal. Sometimes, a defendant does not know these facts, and they have to hire a lawyer to get the police reports, audio tapes, etc. Thats part of what we do to earn our fee. We don't usually know the facts on the day we get hired.
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