If a law enforcement officer has a reasonable belief that a driver has committed a crime of any sort, they are legally allowed to stop the driver's vehicle. Because of this, many routine traffic stops often lead to drivers being arrested on drug charges.
A 28-year-old man from Georgia was recently stopped by police for allegedly failing to maintain his vehicle on a local street. The officer stopped the driver and a check by a Georgia Crime Information Center reportedly revealed that the driver's license was suspended due to a prior DUI conviction; however, the driver had a valid permit to drive to work. The driver apparently said he was going to work, but the officer reported that the driver smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred. The officer asked if the driver had consumed any alcohol before driving and the man reportedly said that he had alcohol the night before. The driver submitted to a Breathalyzer, and, according to officers, the driver was under the influence.
The officer asked the driver to step out of the car and claimed that the vehicle smelled of marijuana. After searching the vehicle, officers apparently found a plastic bag between the driver's seat and center console. The driver was arrested and charged with violating the Georgia Controlled Substances Act. Specifically, the driver was charged with various crimes, including driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of marijuana, and possession of known narcotics.
Drug arrests often occur after an officer stops a vehicle for a traffic violation. However, many of these arrests are unlawful due to an illegal search of the vehicle performed by officers without probable cause. If you think you may be the victim of an illegal search and seizure, contact an attorney to discuss your case.