After a woman was arrested for driving under the influence, a Newport Beach police officer cited a broken license plate light as justification for the traffic stop. The patrol car video “clearly demonstrated” the light was working, meaning the motorist was “not lawfully arrested,” according to public documents.
The arresting police officer said, “I observed the vehicle did not have a functioning license plate light. I activated my vehicle's overhead red and blue lights to conduct a traffic stop on the driver of the vehicle for the violation.” The police officer went on to say, while speaking with the driver, “I smelled a moderate level of alcohol from her breath”. The officer also noted, her eyes were bloodshot. Subsequent breath tests registered the driver to have a blood alcohol content of .12.
The earlier this year the city agreed to pay $1,670 for her attorney's fees and towing costs. City officials had no comment press time and not replied to a request for a copy of the video recording.