On January 18, 2006, Joseph Neth was driving from Vancouver to
Goldendale when he was stopped for speeding. The
officer did a records check and discovered an unconfirmed outstanding warrant for
driving with a suspended license. A drug-sniffing dog arrived, sniffed along the
exterior of the car, and "hit" on the passenger door. The officers then
impounded the car. They applied for a search warrant the following day.
Like homes, vehicles are also a constitutionally protected area.
This Court recognized long ago that Washingtonians have a strong privacy
interest in their automobiles, and there is no Washington "automobile
exception" allowing a search without a warrant.
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