Police Using ‘Seatbelt Checkpoints’ to Search Cars Without Warrants, Make Drug Arrests

“Police are increasingly using seatbelt checkpoints in Tennessee, Louisiana and New York as a way to search vehicles without a warrant. Mayfield Heights, Ohio police even set up a fake checkpoint along I-271, noted Cleveland.com. How are police allowed to do these types of warrantless searches? Many states do not consider a checkpoint an actual ‘traffic stop’ by police. The checkpoints are legal as long as the primary purpose is ‘regulatory’ instead of ‘general criminal enforcement,’ which is what police departments often claim in press releases, such as the one above.”


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