Published Thu, May 3, 2012 3:35 pm Dateline
Ohio lawmakers have passed a bill that would ban hidden compartments in vehicles in an effort to crack down on drug trafficking.
The Senate passed the measure on a 30-2 vote Thursday. It now moves to the House.
The bill would prohibit altering a vehicle to create or add a hidden compartment. It would exempt dealer-installed compartments to address concerns from gun owners about its effect on special compartments used to secure legal firearms.
The State Highway Patrol says current law makes it tough for officers to pursue charges if they find such compartments but no drugs inside them. The bill would make that a felony.
Opponents of the bill say they're worried law-abiding citizens could be forced to spend time and money defending their innocence and their rights.