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New Jersey DWI Checkpoints


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11/17/2008
Charles Van Hardenbergh
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Police need to have a reason to pull you over in the first place...or do they? Checkpoints have become more and more prevelant throughout this country over the last decade or so. In general for a motor vehicle stop to be legal a police officer must have seen you violate the law in some way. Checkpoints are the exception to that rule. You have probably seen or been a part of them yourself...you drive up and see a line of cones and officers stopping what appears to be everyone. Well checkpoints require more than just some cones and a uniformed officer or two. State vs. Kirk was the case out of New Jersey establishing that under state law a checkpoint is unconstitutional unless procedures are in place. Checkpoints need to be planned well in advance to establish these procedures which include, information that shows that the choice of location for the checkpoint is supported by data, proper police supervision, proper warnings to drivers, and proper procedures for how many cars will be stopped and in what pattern. Checkpoint issues involve a detailed analysis of both state and federal constitutional law. Read more about New Jersey DWI checkpoints.

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