Criminal Defense

Are Ruse Drug Checkpoints Legal?

Chandler | Conway

Chandler | Conway

Monday February 28, 2011

Often times law enforcement will resort to various types of trickery when fighting crime. One such tactic is the use of ruse checkpoints along interstates and highways.

The way the checkpoints work is police or state patrol officers place signs stating there is a drug checkpoint coming up down the road. Typically, the signs are set up so that only one exit exists between where the sign is placed and where the ruse checkpoint is allegedly located. Officers then wait to see which cars pull off the road at the exit located before the ruse checkpoint area. Most any car that leaves the interstate before the ruse checkpoint will be suspected of attempting to avoid the area.

The bottom line is ruse checkpoints are legal. With that said, officers cannot stop a vehicle just for exiting the interstate or seeming to avoid the checkpoint area. Officers still need “probable cause” to pull a car over.

In English, that means a traffic violation. An officer can pull a car over for failure to signal, failure to maintain lane, speeding or pretty much any other traffic violation; however an officer cannot pull a car over just because the driver of the car decides to exit the interstate directly ahead of a ruse checkpoint area.


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Chandler | Conway

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