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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The facts, as alleged in the court of appeals’ opinion, are as follows: In April 2003, Lance Camp was summoned from his apartment by a neighbor who said that a friend, the defendant, who was identified as “Natasha,” was not feeling well. Camp found Natasha nearly passed out; she told Camp that she had taken too much GHB. Camp called the Plano police and told them Natasha had perhaps overdosed on GHB. Officer Brian Pfahning knew from his experience as a paramedic that Natasha could be in serious trouble if she overdosed on GHB and tried to get Natasha to respond to him, which she didn’t. When another officer, Christopher Tyler, arrived, Pfahning went out to Natasha’s car to look for identification, an indication that Natasha was trying to commit suicide or any other evidence that would help clarify what happened to her. Though Pfahning did not find anything in the car, Tyler found Natasha’s purse on the kitchen counter. The purse was open, and Tyler looked inside to find a college ID and a clear bottle with liquid in it, which could have been GHB. Pfahning showed the bottle to Natasha, who said that she normally takes measured doses of GHB, but this time she didn’t, and she thought she’d taken too much. She came to the apartment because she didn’t want to be alone, she said. When the fire department arrived, Natasha became argumentative, saying she didn’t want to go to the hospital. Pfahning explained that if she didn’t go to the hospital, where drug charges would be discussed, he would have to arrest her immediately for possession of GHB. She agreed to leave on a stretcher, but instead she ran out the door. Tyler and Pfahning caught her and arrested her for possession of GHB. At a pretrial hearing, the trial court granted Natasha’s motion to suppress the GHB. The state appeals. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. The emergency doctrine is an exception to the general Fourth Amendment rule requiring a search warrant. The doctrine applies when police are acting in their limited community caretaking role to protect or preserve life or avoid serious injury. An officer cannot invoke his community caretaking function if he is primarily motivated by a non-community caretaking purpose. “After reviewing the record, we conclude the record shows that Tyler’s and Pfahning’s search of [Natasha's] purse was justified under the emergency doctrine. . . . Having looked in [Natasha's] purse as part of their caretaker function, the officers were justified in seizing the container of GHB in plain view inside the purse.” OPINION:David L. Bridges, J.; Whittington, Bridges and Francis, JJ.

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