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NATION IN BRIEF : FLORIDA : Court Rules Against Bus Drug Searches

December 01, 1989|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A divided Florida Supreme Court declared random drug searches of commercial buses unconstitutional, saying the practice invited comparisons to Nazi Germany and communist countries. The court, in a 4-3 decision that overturned six drug convictions, said the practice violated state and federal constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure, even though the goal--stopping the flow of illegal drugs--was admirable. "The intrusion upon privacy rights caused by the Broward County policy is too great for a democracy to sustain," Justice Rosemary Barkett wrote in the majority opinion.

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