A good faith but “erroneous” mistake of law the drunk driving arresting officer makes the California DUI stop invalid, lawyers remind. A San Diego DUI officer’s subjective belief that the tinted windows law has been violated does not support a detention if he or she is wrong. [People v. Butler (1988) 202 Cal.App.3d 602, 606-607]
Simply put, a police officer’s DUI stop based on a mistake of law violates the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Good or bad faith police understanding of the California legal requirements for traffic detentions do not support a vehicle stop and any following warrantless evidence gatherings, attorneys insist in this new probable cause article with state and federal case law links.
If a San Diego DUI cop simply does not know the California law but stops a vehicle because of objective facts that cannot legally constitute a violation, his or her suspicions cannot be reasonable.