Court Throws Out Felony OWI Charge When Officer Stops Driver For Suspected Texting And Driving

Urbandale, Polk County, Iowa.  A Polk County Judge dismissed a felony, OWI 3rd Offense charge after finding that the officer illegally stopped the defendant’s vehicle claiming he suspected that the driver was texting and driving.  An Urbandale Police Officer stopped a motorist because he claimed to have observed the driver looking down at his lap at what the officer believed was a phone.  The officer could not see what was causing the “glow” and admitted that he had no idea what was being done with the device prior to stopping the vehicle.  Law enforcement must have a sufficient factual basis to believe that a motorist is violating the law before stopping a vehicle.  The court concluded that the officer’s observations did not rise to the required suspicion that was necessary to justify the traffic stop.  All charges arising out of the illegal stop were thrown out and client’s drivers license was saved.  For more information on Iowa Texting and Driving laws following this link.—what-every-motorist-needs-to-know—part-i-what-is-prohibited.aspx