Defendant was parked and approached by an officer. The officer asked Defendant to step out of the vehicle. Defendant stepped out of the vehicle and locked it. Defendant was evasive in the officer’s questioning. The officer believed that Defendant was intoxicated. The officer unlocked Defendant’s vehicle and searched it, finding a bag of pills. The officer testified that he was looking for either a weapon or evidence of intoxication.
The Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas rule that the officer’s search of the vehicle was a “weapons frisk” and deemed unreasonable. Since the vehicle was locked, the officer’s safety argument was not sufficient basis to search the vehicle.
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DOWELL v. STATE
THE STATE OF TEXAS, Appellee.