440 U.S. 648 (1979)

A 1979 U.S. Supreme Court opinion in which the Court held that it was unlawful for police officers to stop motorists at random to check their driver’s license and registration.  The Court reasoned that, although such spot checks were minimal intrusions, they nevertheless were “constitutionally cognizable” and thus may be conducted only where there is articulable and reasonable suspicion that the motorist is unlicensed or unregistered or is otherwise in violation of law.

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