Warrantless DUI Arrest in Home (cont’d)

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on June 2nd, 2006

For those readers who have speculated that the warrantless home arrest discussed in yesterday’s post must have been a "hot pursuit" case, or that the evidence was overwhelming, consider the facts (from the same newspaper article):

…The case concerned the 2003 Santa Barbara arrest of Daniel Thompson, whom a neighbor suspected was driving drunk and notified authorities. They found a parked car matching the description the neighbor provided and went to the front door of the adjoining residence during a summer evening. The door was open and a woman said the car’s driver was asleep. Moments later, Thompson walked by the officers and they entered the house and arrested him. The neighbor confirmed it was the person she suspected of driving intoxicated and throwing an empty vodka bottle out the car door….

Some woman suspected her neighbor was driving drunk — so the cops enter the home without a warrant and arrest him (and then get an ID from the neighbor). It just doesn’t get much weaker than that. But, of course, our state’s Supreme Court sees no problem. It is, after all, a DUI case…right?

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