Spokane man claims ISP profiled his Washington plates

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Paul Dungan, 58, of Spokane, tells the Spokesman-Review an Idaho State Police trooper pulled him over on I-84 last summer as he crossed into Idaho from Oregon.

The reason, says Dungan -- his car had Washington plates where marijuana is now legal and his windows were rolled down.

Dungan says the trooper also wanted to search Dungan's car because he believed Dungan was airing it out after smoking marijuana.

Dungan refused to permit the search and was allowed to be on his way after about an hour.

But defense attorney Scott McKay calls it a clear violation of the constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

"So when you pull somebody over for driving with their windows down, you violate a fundamental constitutional right," said McKay, of Boise. "People drive with their windows down all the time, it doesn't mean they've committed a crime. It means nothing other than their windows are down."

This latest allegation comes on the heels of a federal lawsuit filed by a Colorado man (where marijuana is also legal) who claims his constitutional rights were violated when ISP profiled him and stopped him because of license plates.

That was in winter of last year and the police car's dash board camera shows the trooper looking through the Colorado man's truck. The man was detained for several hours but no drugs were ever found.

McKay finds the whole thing troubling.

"Law enforcement in Idaho is profiling out-of-state drivers," he said, "and that's wrong. You can't pull somebody over to conduct a drug investigation just because you have a hunch that they might have drugs. And just because they live in Washington, Colorado doesn't mean a thing."

ISP is not commenting on that federal lawsuit.

But a spokeswoman says troopers -- acting with probable cause -- seized more than 1,300 pounds of marijuana alone during traffic stops over the past two years.