Be Careful How You Park

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that it is constitutional for law enforcement/police to seize drivers for parking violations.

These are the questions the court answered:


Is it unconstitutional for an officer to enforce a parking violation after he observes a driver illegally park her vehicle, leaving the vehicle sticking out of the driveway and into the road?


If the officer smells marijuana and observes signs of the driver’s intoxication when he stops the driver to enforce the parking violation, is it unconstitutional for the officer to inquire about the driver’s intoxication when the officer could have enforced the parking violation by placing a citation on the driver’s window instead of stopping her?


If the officer asks the defendant for her license while he’s enforcing the parking violation and discovers the driver’s license is revoked, is it unconstitutional to extend his stop to enforce that violation?


Is there any legally meaningful distinction between a parking and a moving violation for Terry stop purposes?

No, not under the circumstances of the particular case – in which a vehicle parked illegally with part of the car on a driveway and part sticking out into the road.


Read the case here