Are checkpoints legal?

I was stopped at a checkpoint on a main avenue in a suburban NJ town. This

checkpoint was to check my inspection date and I received a $180 ticket. Is this kind of checkpoint legal? I always thought police needed a valid reason to pull you over or set up checkpoint, however since I’m apparently wrong I’d appreciate some clarification.

Asked on September 24, 2018 under General Practice, New Jersey


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The state has a legitimate interest in discouraging dangeous driving and related practices such as driving unregistered, uninspected and uninsured vehicles. In fact, the courts have upheld checkpoints for the foregoing reasons. Bottom line they are legal.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

U.S. courts have upheld the legality of checkpoints, finding that the brief intrusion on privacy and related rights is justified by the state's interest in detering certain illegal or dangerous driving practices, such as unregistered or uninspected vehicles, or DUI.

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