Frette v. City of Springdale

In Frette v. City of Springdale, 331 Ark. 103, 959 S.W.2d 734 (1998), the primary issue was whether the police had the authority under Rule 3.1 to order the occupant of a parked tractor-trailer out of his vehicle, when the officer suspected the occupant to be intoxicated based solely on a tip from an identified citizen informant. The supreme court held that the stop was justified, and announced: "Before turning to the analysis in the present case, we would be remiss in not first emphasizing the significant policy considerations present where a tip reports a driver who is drinking. This court has previously recognized the magnitude of the State's interest in eliminating drunk driving in comparison to relatively minimal intrusions on motorists. See Mullinax v. State, 327 Ark. 41, 938 S.W.2d 801 (1997). In balancing the rights of a motorist to be free from unreasonable intrusions and the State's interest in protecting the public from unreasonable danger, one court has stated that "a motor vehicle in the hands of a drunken driver is an instrument of death. It is deadly, it threatens the safety of the public, and that threat must be eliminated as quickly as possible .... The 'totality' of circumstances tips the balance in favor of public safety and lessens the ... requirements of reliability and corroboration." Kaysville City v. Mulcahy, supra, 943 P.2d 231 (Utah Ct. App. 1997) (quoting State v. Tucker, 19 Kan. App. 2d 920, 878 P.2d 855 (Kan. Ct. App. 1994))." (Frette v. City of Springdale, 331 Ark. at 120-21, 959 S.W.2d at 743.)