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A man named Lonnie Ray Davis was pulled over by Michigan police. When they searched his car, they found an open alcohol container, crack, a wad of cash, a stun gun, and a .38 caliber handgun. He was, of course, arrested. But the reason they pulled him over has become a constitutional law issue: Davis had a Tweety Bird ornament dangling from his rear view mirror, and Michigan law forbids dangling things that "obstruct the vision of the driver of the vehicle."
Davis' argument was that the Tweety Bird didn't obstruct his vision, so the cops had no right to pull him over, and therefore the items they found should be suppressed. The 6th Court of Appeals initially struck down the Michigan law since it does not define "to what degree the driver's vision must be obstructed or for how long." Noting that a great many cars have objects dangling from their mirrors, and so may be in unwitting violation of the law, "the statute itself provides no guidance either to motorists or police as to which ones" violate the law, and so must be scrapped.

The court didn't suppress the evidence, and shortly after its ruling it rescinded its decision striking down the ban. The reason is thought to be that the court was required to let Michigan plead its case for the ban before the court struck it down. The court has not given a reason for its reversed decision. As far as the now-reinstated fuzzy dice ban, for now it remains a reason for the police to pull you over if and when they decide.

[Source: Michigan Messenger]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Every employee at Detroit Metro Airport is given hang tag with an RFID chip to use for the employee lot. Has been for years. The Wayne County Airport Authority had to be aware of the law, and chose to ignore it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't have a problem with the law. Have you ever seen how much crap, especially young women, have hanging off the rear view mirror? Let's give them a ticket for yacking on the phone and texting too.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Your tax dollars at work. I wonder what the evidence is that dangling objects cause accidents? Maybe the same for red light cams?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Or using a cell phone while driving?
      • 6 Years Ago
      LOL @ liberalism, form of mental retardation.

      This guy is a straight up criminal, and he has a right to delay his punishment or judgement based on frivilous technicalities, only in states like Michigan and New York.

      Next thing you know child rapists are getting 6 months probation, oh wait, they are already getting 6 months probation for raping 9 year old girls, in Vermont, thanks again progressive liberalism!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ah yes, it's the same damn liberals who brought us out of the depression and led us to victory in the war a few years later.
        • 6 Years Ago
        are you kidding me? you do know that there are Amendments other than #2, in particular you might want to read up on #4.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This has nothing to do with the conservative-liberal spectrum. Grind your political axes somewhere besides Autoblog.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Anything dangling from a mirror, even if only 2" wide, has the ability to hide a pedestrian, cyclist, or motorcycle from view at an intersection, and that's enough to cause a fatal collision. As well, a dangling object, swinging back-and-forth, is a distraction. It ought to be a law, nationwide, that nothing should be attached to a rear view mirror. That's not an intrusion of privacy, friends, it's just common sense. Besides, they make the car look ugly. (;>
        • 6 Years Ago
        Uh..not to rain on your parade, Powell, but most people aren't retarded chimps. They won't be going "oooh, ahhh" whenever they see dice dangling from their mirrors.

        Not to mention, a greater worry than dangling dice are the A pillars in cars. They sometimes block your entire view of the left or right hand side of an intersection. -- And how about the rearview mirrors themselves? I guess no one can drive an old Bentley or Austin-Healey; after all, it would just be "too" dangerous, wouldn't it?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Better not bring fuzzy dice on roadtrips through MI. This law makes more sense than AZ's license plate cover law. The fine on both is outrageous though.
      • 6 Years Ago
      But I don't wanna take the fuzzy dice out of my car D: I can see just fine! This is stupid!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Colorado has a similar law. If you have anything hanging from your rearview mirror, its cause for a stop.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I find this interesting, because as a 6'4" driver of a '99 Ford Explorer, the main obstruction to my view out the front is the rear view mirror. I haven't killed anyone, but over the eight years I've owned it I've had a couple of semi-close calls, both with pedestrians stupid enough to not make eye contact prior to crossing. The mirror, which is unadjustable for height, happens to be in my line of sight for things coming from the right, like intersections, sidewalks, and 270-degree on and offramps. I'm constantly ducking to look under the mirror. I'm positive it's affected my posture.
        • 6 Years Ago
        were these crossings at cross walks? if they were it is law that you stop.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I welcome a law forbidding people from putting up crap which blocks visibility. Handicap placards and GPS nagvigation systems blocking the view under the rearview mirror are as bad as driving with cataracts.
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