Sometimes good people, even those making a million a year and have a lot to lose, make terrible mistakes that can cost them dearly in their professional and social lives. In this case, The Bears’ wide receiver, David Moore, was arrested after falling asleep at a Taco Bell drive-thru in his hometown of Gainesville, Texas. Police said that they smelled marijuana on Moore, but were somehow only able to turn up edibles in their search. They also found three pistols on Moore that do not appear to have been registered.
Moore is a journeyman wide receiver who was signed to a one-year deal by The Bears after ending his tenure in Seattle.
Analyzing the Arrest
Defense attorneys are always going to take issue with an arrest in which the officers claim they smell marijuana and then turn up something that does not smell like marijuana. Unless they had a police dog on them, edibles tend to smell like nothing much at all. In this case, there is some question as to whether or not the probable cause for an arrest existed prior to the police searching the football player’s vehicle.
On the other hand, Moore was asleep at a drive-thru when police were called to the scene, and marijuana edibles are known to cause sedation. That might explain why the police searched the vehicle or would have had probable cause to do so. On the other hand, police can say that they smell marijuana as a pretense to search a vehicle. If they do not turn up marijuana, however, the constitutionality of the search will be called into question, under the Fourth Amendment.
Nonetheless, the police did have probable cause to initiate a stop related to a DUI in this case. That would have allowed them to search the vehicle for drugs or alcohol. It would have further allowed them to search the suspect for drugs and alcohol. It would have also entitled them to take blood or breath samples for alcohol or marijuana tests.
So, while the arrest may not have been perfect, it likely falls within the purview of police authority to execute a search.
It goes without saying that an individual who falls asleep at a drive-thru is not driving in their best condition. Moore will likely be charged with DUI and possession of a controlled substance since marijuana is still illegal in Texas. The official charges against Moore have yet to be announced. This could be because police are waiting for toxicology reports to come back.
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