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Can the police run your plates for no reason?

Seattle, WA |

I have been pulled over several times for no reason at all. Each time I was pulled over the officer stated that they can run peoples plates for no reason at all. And I want to know how true this is. As I stated before each time I was not doing anything that would cause for them to just run my plates (I did not break any traffic rules, speeding, illegal passing, failure to yield, running red lights, etc. nothing at all). The last incident when I was pulled over the officer followed me for a mile to a mile & a half, he then got in the right lane sped up so he was right next to my car, looked in got behind me again, then a mile down the road he pulled me over. Everyone (myself, my daughter, and boyfriend) in my car had on seat belts. I really feel that this is unfair & illegal. Please advise.

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Attorney answers 1



The police indeed are responsible for the duty of checking licence plates. This is a matter of public safety. Why? To uncover potential stolen cars, evidence of unsafe cars and unsafe drivers, information about non-registered cars (and the list goes on.)

If we did not have the need for such actions as a society, none of the 50 states would have laws that require each and every motor vehicle to have visible public identifying license plates attached.