Police: Pot Charge for Driver, Stopped for Tail Lights Off or Not Working

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A 25-year-old driver was charged with possessing a minor amount of marijuana Sunday night on Hoyt Street after a police officer saw his rear license plate light wasn’t on and stopped the car.

Darien police described the incident with this account (including accusations not proven in court):

At about 9:40 p.m., the police officer, parked on Hoyt Street near Greenwood Avenue to observe traffic, saw a 2007 Volkswagen Rabbit traveling north on Hoyt with the rear tail lights not on.

When the officer pulled the car over and spoke with the driver, a Stamford resident, the officer smelled burnt marijuana. When the driver opened the glove box, the officer saw a small piece of cigar.

The driver was asked to step out of the vehicle, and the police K-9 unit was brought in. The driver said he had smoked marijuana before being pulled over, but didn’t have any marijuana on him.

Although the man was repeatedly told not to put his hands in his pants pockets, he repeatedly did so. An officer found a small plastic bag containing 1.8 grams of what later tested presumptively as marijuana. The dog, Zulu, indicated there were trace amounts of marijuana in the car.

The man was issued an infraction ticket for marijuana possession — his second ticket for that. The first offense for possessing pot is $150; for any subsequent offenses, it’s up to $500 each time.

After getting the ticket, the man said he had been pulled over for no reason and insisted his tail lights were not out. The police report did not mention whether the man received a ticket charging him with that offense.