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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 148107 Find in a Library
Journal: American Criminal Law Review  Volume:31  Issue:2  Dated:(Winter 1994)  Pages:215-257
Author(s): J M Copacino
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 43
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article considers the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in a case involving a roadblock for suspicionless seizures designed to enforce criminal laws.
Abstract: The litigation in Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz concerned a sobriety checkpoint program established by the Michigan Department of State Police. The roadblock lasted just over an hour and resulted in two arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol. In 1990, the Supreme Court approved this effort--the first time it had approved a criminal seizure of individuals not suspected of wrongdoing. However, the malleability of the Court's approach in Sitz places no clear limits on governmental action and makes imperative the articulation of a definitive delineation of the scope of suspicionless seizures. This analysis concludes that the degree of intrusion of a search should be the sole trigger for the Court's balancing analysis and that a narrow, de minimis intrusion should be the appropriate test for suspicionless searches and seizures designed to enforce the criminal law. Footnotes
Main Term(s): Police legal limitations
Index Term(s): Search and seizure laws; Sobriety checkpoints; US Supreme Court decisions
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