Court: Information-gathering roadblocks are constitutional

| Thursday, January 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.