In State v. Arreola (pdf), the Washington Supreme Court confronted, once again, the tension between liberty and privacy interests and safety and security intersts.  There, it ruled that a police officer may conduct a traffic stop to investigate unlawful activity (driving under the influence) without any permissible basis for doing so as long as there is another – independent and lawfully sufficient – reason for the stop.  As Justice Chambers notes in dissent, the majority’s holding does not appear to comport with existing case law or with the constitutional mandate that “no person shall be disturbed in his private affairs … without authority of law.”
Continue Reading Wash. S. Ct. Defines Constitutional Limits of “Mixed-Motive” Traffic Stops