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License plate profiling

By Bonnie Silkman , Weekend GMC Anchor / Reporter , bonnie.silkman@krdo.com
Published On: Mar 31 2014 06:28:43 PM CDT

License plate profiling

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Getting pulled over for having a Colorado license plates.

It's against the law, but several drivers tell us it's happening to them.

They're calling it "license plate profiling" and it all stems from Colorado's new marijuana law.

An officer needs to have reasonable suspicion that you've committed a crime or traffic violation before they can pull you over.

But some drivers claim their Colorado plates are the only reason a troopers lights came on behind them.

"Basically if you leave the state of Colorado with Colorado plates you have a target on your back now. There was no reason for him to pull us over other than those Colorado license plates,” said Bill Despain.

He and his wife were pulled over in Oklahoma.

"our rights were violated, there's no if's ands or buts about it,” said Despain.

“The officer took Bill to his car, put him in there, started questioning him and asked me to step out of the vehicle. He searched my purse and every little crack and cranny in the vehicle," said Bills wife, April Anderson.

Once Bill was inside the troopers’ car, he was immediately asked if he or his wife had a medical marijuana card.

Lawyer Mike McDivitt tells us questions like that are irrelevant.

That is invasive and there's no reason in the world that the individual should give that information it's none of his business. If you were pulled over and he asks if you have a marijuana card, then i think you have grounds for a legal claim against the officer," said McDivitt.

After searching the car for nearly an hour and finding nothing, the trooper returned with a written warning for speeding- three miles over the limit.

If you find yourself in this situation, McDivitt suggests drivers make as little contact as they can with the officer, and not to volunteer any extra information.

"That's illegal if they pull you over because they suspect it they have to have reasonable suspicion. You have the right to say, no you can't search my car," said McDivitt.

"This is really going on, there isn't much we can do about it but we can at least get the story out and let people know," said Anderson.

This isn't the only case we've heard of.

Several have claimed to also be a victim of license plate profiling

In fact one Colorado man is filing a federal lawsuit, after he was pulled over for hours in Idaho for what he says, no reason other than having Colorado plates.

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