Snow Leads to DUI Conviction

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January27,2011DrivingWithLicensePlateCoveredBySnowAndStickersInBackWindow

 

A DUI conviction that followed an arrest in January of 2011, was upheld in Montana last week. Mark Haldane, a Montana resident, was arrested after a police officer stopped him because snow was obstructing his view of the license plate. All of the license and registration information on the car was current, as it had just been purchased a few days earlier. After approaching the vehicle, the officer noticed that Haldane was intoxicated.

After his conviction in February of 2012, Haldane filed an appeal saying the officer had no cause for pulling him over, and that the snow covering the license plate was not sufficient. The Montana Supreme Court disagreed with Haldane, saying state law allows for the seizure of a private citizen based on merely a partial obstruction.

The Supreme Court did order for a new sentence after finding that the district court had handed down the highest penalty. He was originally sentenced to six months in jail, and ordering fines of $935. While this appeal did not vacate his conviction entirely, at least he was able to get his punishment lessened.

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