HOUSTON (AP) - An appeals court today ruled Texas drivers must display license plates on the front bumpers of their vehicles.
The ruling in Austin came as the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the conviction of a man sent to prison for 60 years on a drug charge.
The appeals court says it's not good enough to just have a plate displayed somewhere else toward the front of the car or truck, like inside the front windshield.
The case involves a man pulled over in Lubbock four years ago because his plate was wedged between the dashboard and the windshield. An officer subsequently found Tawin Spence had about a half-pound of cocaine stuffed in his pants.
Spence appealed, saying his plate clearly was visible, that he shouldn't have been stopped and that the drug evidence used to convict him of possession with intent to deliver cocaine was obtained improperly.
The ruling resolves conflicting opinions from lower state courts.
Spence is at the Hughes Unit in Gatesville and becomes eligible for parole consideration in 2013.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)