Court: Information-gathering roadblocks are constitutional

| 1/15/2004

The Supreme Court has ruled that police can set up random roadblocks to gather information from motorists about recent crimes, media outlets reported this week.

The case involved a roadblock in Illinois in 1997 in which police stopped cars at an intersection seeking information about a fatal hit-and-run accident. A driver stopped at the roadblock sued after he was arrested for drunken driving.

The court ruled 6-3 that the type of roadblock used during the incident in Lombard, IL, a suburb of Chicago, did not violate drivers’ right to privacy and was a valid way for law-enforcement officers to seek the assistance of the public.