A public safety stop is not for investigative purposes. Asking for information about the ownership of the truck and demanding and retaining the occupants' driver's licenses exceeded the justification for the stop. That justification was limited to an examination of the tire to determine if it was safe to continue driving and to alert the driver about the condition of the tire. Obtaining and retaining the occupants' driver's licenses, under the circumstances of this case, exceeded the legitimate bounds for a safety stop.Any detention must be limited and does not even include a license check. This is another example of a COA decision holding law enforcement really accountable under the Fourth Amendment. Is it just me or are we getting a lot of these cases lately? Or is it that law enforcement officers are just pushing the envelope harder than ever before?
[Update: the state did not file a petition for review and the mandate issued on September 28, 2006.]