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NJ police want to search cellphones without warrants

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Police in New Jersey might be allowed to search cellphones without a warrant after a motor vehicle crash.

A bill introduced in the state Senate seeks to help determine whether a motorist was on the phone when the accident took place.

Sen. James Holzapfel tells The Star-Ledger a police officer has a slim chance of witnessing the crash. The Ocean County Republican says it's no different than having an open bottle of liquor in the vehicle.

The state's American Civil Liberties Union says state and federal constitutions generally require police to have probable cause in order to conduct a search.

The state's Highway Traffic Safety Division says there were 1,840 handheld cell phone-related crashes in New Jersey in 2011, resulting in 807 injuries and six deaths.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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