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MN Court Gives Ruling on Cracked Windshields as Basis for Vehicle Stops

By December 17, 2018 No Comments

Last week the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that a cracked windshield alone is not a sufficient legal basis to drop a vehicle, reports Minnesota Public Radio. The police report in the case under appeal “said only that [the officer] observed a vehicle with a cracked windshield” and nothing about whether the crack was limiting or obstructing the driver’s vision. “Prosecutors said it would be impossible for officers to tell if a crack obstructed a driver’s view without stopping the car to determine it,” but the court found this argument to be too restrictive of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Despite this, the court did decide the stop in the case was valid on a different basis: the defendant’s lack of a seat belt.