NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey’s Supreme Court has ruled a 2013 traffic stop and arrest for weapons violations prompted by the driver’s use of high beams was improper.
While investigating an abandoned vehicle in Newark in 2013, a police officer noticed another car driving by with high beams on, WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron reported.
After pulling the car over, the officer smelled marijuana. The stop eventually led to charges against a passenger for unlawfully possessing a .40-caliber handgun, hollow-point bullets and a high-capacity magazine.
The court wrote Wednesday the stop was unjustified and the evidence could be suppressed. The justices found that state law says there must be oncoming cars affected by the high beams to warrant a stop.
New Jersey’s high beam law only mandates drivers to lower their high beams only when they see an oncoming vehicle, Tracy Noble, of AAA Mid-Atlantic, said.
“Yes, it could certainly impede their vision,” Noble said.
The ruling says a police officer is not an oncoming vehicle and since the female driver didn’t break any laws, police had no reason to conduct a stop.
Noble said around 2,000 summonses were issued last year for high beam-related violations.
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