GavelThe Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a man protesting his second drunk driving conviction.

A policeman doing overnight patrols pulled in behind a car parked outside the VFW in Oskaloosa. The car’s motor was on. Bryan Elder was in the driver’s seat. A woman was in the passenger seat. They told the policeman they were just talking. The policeman says he smelled alcohol. The vehicle was seized and Elder was eventually charged with drunk driving.

The appeals court says the officer cannot act on a mere “hunch” that something criminal may be happening in a parked car. The appeals court has ruled “the vehicle stop was not justified.”