Subject: Search and Seizure – Traffic Checkpoint
Moore was stopped at a routine traffic checkpoint that officers had set up and were checking every vehicle for license, registration, and insurance violations. When Moore was stopped, they discovered a substantial amount of illegal drugs. After Moore pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute twenty-eight or more grams of crack cocaine, he filed a motion to suppress the evidence arguing the search was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.
The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained by officers, holding that the routine traffic checkpoint fully complied with Fourth Amendment requirements. In this case, the primary purpose of the checkpoint was valid (traffic code inspections); the roadblock adequately advanced a significant public interest (ensuring people were properly licensed and vehicles were properly registered and insured); and the checkpoint was minimally intrusive.
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