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Colorado v. Bertine

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 479 U.S. 367, 107 S. Ct. 738, 93 L. Ed. 2d 739 (1987)

Brief Fact Summary. The respondent, Steven Lee Bertine (the “respondent”), was arrested for driving under the influence, and a routine inventory of his impounded car revealed drug paraphernalia.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. There is no warrant requirement, under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution (”Constitution”), to search a vehicle under a routine inventory search.

Facts. An officer performed a routine inventory search of the respondent’s vehicle before the vehicle was towed to an impoundment lot. During the search, the officer found drug paraphernalia that led to charges of unlawful possession. The respondent moved to suppress the evidence, and the Supreme Court of Colorado agreed.

Issue. Whether a warrant is required to perform a routine inventory search?

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