Iowa Supreme Court Declares Seizure of Vehicle Unconstitutional

Clarke County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a single car in the ditch accident.  While the deputy was examining the accident, a van drove past and away from the scene.  Another deputy advised that he observed the van pull into a farm residence driveway and then proceed down the roadway.  Deputies followed the van, ran the license plate, and determined the van and the car in the ditch were registered to the same address.  The deputy stopped the van, stating that he was either determining if the van needed assistance locating the driver of the car, or that the driver of the car may have been in the van and needed medical attention.  The Iowa Supreme Court overturned the district court and Court of Appeals, holding that there was no bona fide community caretaking function, but that the deputy was actually performing an investigation and lacked adequate cause to stop the van.  The ruling overturns Clients conviction for OWI and the case will need to be dismissed.