A car occupied by four teenagers was pulled over by police officers from Anne Arundel County. Officers claim that the driver was somehow impaired. As a result of that belief, the 17-year-old driver was arrested for juvenile DUI and other charges.
Police were called to a neighborhood in Anne Arundel County after residents heard what sounded like gunshots. When police arrived in the neighborhood, they discovered that a mailbox appeared to have been destroyed by an explosion. A search of the neighborhood led police to pull over the teen's vehicle.
The question is whether the teens were pulled over because of their age or because officers had probable cause to pull them over. If it turns out that the car was pulled over simply because it was occupied by four teenagers, that may not be enough to make the arrest stick. Without adequate probable cause to believe that the teens were either involved in the exploding mailbox or that the driver was impaired, any evidence gathered beginning with the traffic stop may be thrown out in court.
Police officers can't just pull over a vehicle hoping to get lucky and discover criminal activity. There has to be a reason to believe that the driver is breaking the law. Even a "gut feeling," which after years of experience may be accurate, isn't necessarily enough to deprive someone of their freedom. It will be necessary for prosecutors to show the court that the DUI charge and other charges were made after a lawful traffic stop.
Source: myfoxdc.com, Teens arrested after police say they blew up mailboxes, No author, Sept. 26, 2013