The Minnesota Legislative session wrapped up the year last month, and while they didn't pass a bonding bill, there were several other items that did make it through both the Minnesota House and Senate and onto the Governor's desk for his signature. One of those bills that passed changed the way police officers who pull you over can interact with you. No longer can they ask you the question of why you think you were pulled over.

According to Minnesota Statute 626.8471:

No stop initiated by a peace officer should be made without a legitimate reason; race, ethnicity, or national origin alone should never provide a sufficient reason. Law enforcement policies and training programs must emphasize the need to respect the balance between the rights of all persons to be free from unreasonable governmental intrusions and law enforcement's need to enforce the law.

The change in this law came from the judiciary and public safety supplemental budget bill. 

Here is the language used in a press release about the bill being passed after being in conference committee.

The agreement includes a provision that would prevent a peace officer making a traffic stop for a secondary offense of the motor vehicle code from asking if the driver can identify the reason for the stop. Instead, an officer must first inform the driver of the reason for the stop before engaging in questioning related to the suspected violation.

The official language used in the amendment that made it into the bill states:

A peace officer making a traffic stop for a violation of this chapter or chapter 168 must not ask if the operator can identify the reason for the stop. A peace officer making such a traffic stop must inform the vehicle's operator of a reason for the stop unless it would be unreasonable to do so under the totality of the circumstances. A peace officer's failure to comply with this section must not serve as the basis for exclusion of evidence or dismissal of a charge or citation."

Another thing that this bill did was make it illegal for police to search your vehicle if they detect the odor of cannabis.

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You can learn more about the new language, and what others think about the new rules for traffic stops in this MinnPost article.

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