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Young’s e-mail address is gyoungnlj.com a minnesota law allowing suspicionless stops of vehicles with special license plates issued to households with a driver with a revoked license was unconstitutional, the Minnesota Supreme Court held on July 31. State v. Henning, No. C9-01-1985. After two driving under the influence convictions, the state of Minnesota revoked Joel Henning’s driver’s license. Henning’s car was owned by his father, so the state issued special registration plates with the letters, “WZ.” Such plates are issued where at least one member of a violator’s household has a valid license. Police stopped Joel Henning solely on the basis of his WZ plates, and Henning was convicted of driving after revocation. An intermediate appellate court held that the law providing for suspicionless stops of drivers was constitutional and that, by accepting the WZ plates, Henning consented to such stops. Henning appealed. Reversing, the high court held that the law providing for stops, Minn. Stat. § 168.0422, was unconstitutional under both the U.S. and Minnesota constitutions. Also, noting that the operator of a vehicle with special plates might not be the violator, the court held that the mere presence of WZ plates did not create the reasonable suspicion required for a stop.

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