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Illinois v. Lidster

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 540 U.S. 419, 124 S. Ct. 885, 157 L. Ed. 2d 843 (2004)

Brief Fact Summary. Police set up a highway checkpoint to ask motorists for information about a hit and run. Respondent was determined at the checkpoint to be driving under the influence.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Where a stop advances a grave public concern to a significant degree, and interferes only minimally with liberty the Fourth Amendment seeks to protect.


Facts. In response to the hit-and-run death of a bicyclist, police set up a checkpoint to ask occupants if they had any information about the incident, and handed each driver a flyer about the matter. Respondent Robert Lidster’s vehicle swerved as it approached the checkpoint. A roadside sobriety test determined that the respondent was driving under the influence of alcohol.

Issue. Whether a “highway checkpoint where police stopped motorists to ask them for information” about a criminal matter complied with the Fourth Amendment.

Content Type: Brief


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