Must the police have consent in order to search a car that was stopped due to the driver being impaired?

UPDATED: Dec 2, 2013

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Dec 2, 2013Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Must the police have consent in order to search a car that was stopped due to the driver being impaired?

I had my 20 year old cousin pick me up from a friend’s house. I was drinking and aperently she was too. She got pulled over, got underage citation, an OVI and a speeding ticket. I got an open container after the police searched the car but they did not ask to search it. If I brought that up in court, is there any chance that the would be dropped?

Asked on December 2, 2013 under Criminal Law, Ohio


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The police can search a car without consent.  The police had probable cause to search the car since the driver was impaired.  The police can search a car without a search warrant when there is probable cause (reasonable belief that criminal activity is afoot) because by the time the police return with a warrant, the car may be gone.  The police don't need a warrant for a search incident to an arrest. 

Your argument about the police searching the car without consent will be rejected by the court.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption