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Name: People v. Colbert
Case #: H031479
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 12/11/2007

Vehicle was lawfully stopped where officer had reason to believe an air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror obstructed the driver’s view. Appellant was stopped and detained by an officer who saw a tree-shaped air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror of appellant’s car and believed it was obstructing appellant’s view. When the officer discovered that appellant was on parole, he searched the vehicle pursuant to parole conditions, finding pills and stolen credit cards. In his appeal from the denial of his motion to suppress the evidence, appellant argued that the officer lacked an objective basis for concluding that the air freshener was obstructing his view through the front windshield. The appellate court disagreed and affirmed. The evidence before the magistrate here contained precisely the evidence missing in People v. White (2003) 107 Cal.App. 4th 636. The officer explicitly testified that the air freshener was large enough to obstruct the driver’s view, and described the precise dimensions of the air freshener and his personal experience with objects that size hung on a windshield. Further, there was no evidence presented by the defense that the air freshener did not obstruct the driver’s view.