IA: Stopping behind a car parked with brake lights on on a country road at 1 am was reasonable under the community caretaking function

“This case requires us to decide whether an officer was justified in pulling behind a vehicle and activating his emergency lights when the vehicle was stopped by the side of a highway after 1:00 a.m. with its brake lights engaged. We conclude the officer’s actions were justified under the ‘community caretaking function’ exception to the warrant requirement of the Fourth Amendment and article I, section 8 of the Iowa Constitution. For this reason, we affirm the conviction for operating while intoxicated that resulted from this roadside encounter.” State v. Coffman, 2018 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 72 (June 22, 2018)

Defendant was suspected of being a large scale heroin and cocaine dealer in the Chicago area. A CI’s tip had him coming in with $400,000 in proceeds. They tailed him and he was driving 70-75 in a 70 zone. At a construction zone he continued at 72 in a 55 zone, and he was stopped in Indiana. There was probable cause for the stop. He consented to a search and he thought the money was well hidden but it was found. The stop and search were valid. United States v. Norton, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16671 (7th Cir. June 20, 2018).*

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