Pa. Supreme Court OKs Roving Drunk Driving Road Stops by Police

August 17, 2005

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that roving checks for drivers under the influence of alcohol are legal.

The ruling upheld the 2003 conviction of Greg Beaman, of Pittsburgh, who was stopped by Pittsburgh police in 2001. He appealed his conviction, claiming that the roving stops, which are a variant on DUI checkpoints, amounted to an unreasonable search.

The Supreme Court agreed with a Superior Court ruling that upheld the roving stops. The lower court found such stops were not unreasonable.

The roving stops rely in part on an officer’s suspicion that a driver is under the influence. In checkpoints, all drivers on a chosen roadway are given at least a cursory observation by trained officers.

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