MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Tenn. – Local law enforcement officials have made the public aware of increased patrols and checkpoints, particularly throughout the summer months. The next local safety belt checkpoint will be conducted by the Tennessee Highway Patrol Friday, July 12 in Montgomery County on Highway 79.
As a result of these heightened enforcement measures, some have begun to question the tactics of some agencies, most notably the DUI checkpoint set up July 4 in Rutherford County.
A member of the Libertarian party recorded an officer from his vehicle during a checkpoint, and the video has since gone viral with nearly three million views. The officer’s actions have sparked a debate over the legality of these stops.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, Tennessee is among 38 states that conduct sobriety checkpoints, which are considered legal in these areas under state and federal law. However, these stops can be construed as a violation of 4th Amendment rights, which protect citizens from unlawful search and seizure. Therefore law enforcement agencies notify the public beforehand via the media to avoid legal action.
The National Motorists’ Association advises drivers how to handle the situation going through a checkpoint.
See the video of the Rutherford County incident on Youtube.