Does law enforcement violate a person's 4th Amendment rights?

When it sets up road checks for the sole purpose of checking the status of the person's driver's license and registration.

12 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Okay here's the deal. The US Supreme Court ruled in Delaware v. Prouse that an Officer can not take it upon his/her self to randomly check a vehicle to see if the driver had a valid license and registration. In the case a Police Officer randomly stopped someone and asked to check their license and had no valid reason for stopping them except that he wanted to make sure they had a license.

    However, the court did state that a supervised and structured means of stopping cars without reasonable suspicion was Constitutional. That basically says that if a supervisor approves a "license checkpoint" and there is a structured means of doing it (some sort of policy written or verbal) then the checkpoint is legal. Usually a supervisor will approve a checkpoint and the standard procedure is to check every vehicle coming through unless there is a reason to stop checking every vehicle (all the Officers are busy with violations, safety reasons, etc.).

    Here is a link to Delaware v. Prouse:

    http://supreme.justia.com/us/440/648/case.html

    See also:

    Michigan Dept. of State Police v. Sitz

    http://supreme.justia.com/us/496/444/case.html

    Which makes DWI checkpoints Constitutional.

    City of Indianapolis v. Edmond:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/99-1030.ZS.h...

    Which declares Narcotics Checkpoints Unconstitutional.

    Some States may have laws that forbid Drivers License Checkpoints. Mine does not and we do a lot of them.

    Source(s): People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. -George Orwell
  • Randy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The courts have held that things such as this are a reasonable infringement upon a persons individual rights for the benefit of the greater good, ie: societies safety and security. These checkpoints do not constitute an unreasonable detention as the motorist is stopped only for a few minutes (at most) and in the majority of the cases the selection of motorists is random, with no one person being targeted.

  • 1 decade ago

    The fact that driving is a privilege and not a right does not invalidate the Fourth Amendment and give the Government carte blanche when it comes to driving and such.

    The government has to show a compelling reason to set up such roadblocks and as most people here observe the Courts generally agree that keeping drunks off of the road is sufficiently compelling.

  • 1 decade ago

    No, I agree with the statement above me driving is a privilege. Their checking for people who are driving with out a license or valid registration that is against the law. Or people who are driving with out a license. Witch is not only against the law but dangerous as well. It's for the safety of the public.

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  • Cindy
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    It may, but if it were to go to a court of law I think that they will be able to get away with it.

    I have to wonder though since in California we have a law that states that every one has to have all of the above as well as insurance as well. I'm sure that law makes it easier for them to do that here and get away with it.

    Source(s): Self, Retired Federal Bureau of Prisons, Senior Officer Specialist, Correctional Officer. In California we have a law that states that you have to have a drivers licenses as well as proof of insurance, and proof of registration. If your missing any of these things they will impound your car and fine you.
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes (usually).

    I am not aware of any courts that have upheld such checkpoints.

    They have upheld DWI checkpoints, using the argument that there is a public safety hazard posed by DUI drivers. Absent that danger, it is presumptively unreasonable to randomly detain motorists.

    Source(s): 8+ years Law Enforcement
  • 1 decade ago

    No, most agencies will announce that they are putting them up so you have the option of driving when they are up or not, this has already been settled through the courts.

  • 1 decade ago

    Legit up here. We have them up here in northern California. Its called a safety checkpoint. DUI, unlicensed, have a warrant, etc..= busted.

    Source(s): California cop.
  • jazzie
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I agree with the answer above me

  • BruceN
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I have always thought so, but the courts do not.

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