Tiny Boxing Gloves Hanging from Mirror Justified MV Stop – State v. Barrow

[7/31/09 – 9:10 pm] The provisions of NJSA 39:3-74 provide in pertinent part that “[N]o person shall drive any vehicle so constructed, equipped or loaded as to unduly interfere with the driver’s vision to the front and to the sides.” In today’s Appellate Division decision captioned State v. Barrow, the Court ruled that a pair of tiny boxing gloves, measuring 3 ½ inches by 3 ½ inches that were hanging from the defendant’s rear-view mirror provided a police officer with sufficient reasonable suspicion to effect a motor vehicle stop of the defendant’s car. The officer who made the vehicle stop saw the gloves from across an intersection. His stop of the defendant’s motor vehicle ultimately resulted in the discovery of controlled dangerous substances in the defendant’s possession.

The Appellate Division’s holding in this case includes a study of all the so-called view obstruction cases from around the country as well as a comment by the Court that although the tiny gloves in question may not have been sufficient to support a conviction at trial for a violation of NJSA 39:3-74, they did provide sufficient reasonable suspicion to support the traffic stop.

Download a copy of State v. Barrow.

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