Decision Commonwealth v. Davis

Date: 01/14/2019
Organization: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Commonwealth v. Davis
Supreme Judicial Court, January 14, 2019
(Crimes/Operating Under the Influence of Marijuana)

A police officer had probable cause to believe that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle while impaired by marijuana based on his observations of speeding, driving too closely to the vehicle in front of him, smelling the odor of burnt and unburnt marijuana emanating from the vehicle and the defendant’s person, observing the defendant had red and glassy eyes, that he was struggling to keep his eyes open and his head upright, slow coordination, difficulty focusing and following directions, and the defendant’s admission that he had smoked marijuana earlier in the day.

 After the defendant’s arrest the officers had authority to search the vehicle, pursuant to the automobile exception, for evidence pertaining to the offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence and that search could extend to the locked glove compartment (to which the officers had a key) because it was reasonable for the officers to believe that it contained marijuana or implements used to consume marijuana.

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