AGO 2011-105.

Case Date:September 28, 2011
Court:Alabama
 
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Alabama Attorney General Opinions 2011. AGO 2011-105. September 28, 20112011-105Honorable Morris L. Shaw, Jr. Attorney, City of Harpersville 33300 U.S. Highway 280 Childersburg, Alabama 35044Municipalities - Roads, Highways and Bridges - Traffic Regulations - Law Enforcement -- RoadblocksThere are no statutory prohibitions on the City of Harpersville conducting a roadblock on the area of U.S. Highway 280 that is within its corporate boundaries. Whether such a roadblock would satisfy the standards established by the Alabama courts for conducting such roadblocks is a factual question that cannot be determined by this Office.Dear Mr. Shaw: This opinion of the Attorney General is issued in response to your request on behalf of the City of Harpersville. QUESTIONS
(1) Will the City of Harpersville be allowed to conduct vehicular roadblocks on U.S. Highway 280?
(2) If allowed, would there be any restrictions placed on the City of Harpersville regarding the vehicular roadblock on U.S. Highway 280, and what would be the minimum uniform srte-n-da-rd-sHFor-the-o-pe-ra-t-i-o-n-o-f vehicular roadblocks?
FACTS AND ANALYSIS No state or federal law prevents a municipality from conducting a roadblock on a United States highway. Alabama's cities and towns have the general police power to regulate the running of automobiles within their corporate boundaries. ALA. Code § 11-47-114 (2008). Therefore, there are no statutory prohibitions on the City of Harpersville conducting a roadblock on the area of U.S. Highway 280 that is within its corporate boundaries. Your request also asks what restrictions are placed on the City of Harpersville when conducting a roadblock on U.S. Highway 280. The restrictions are the same ones that are placed on any roadblock that is performed on any Alabama roadway by any state or local law enforcement entity. Specifically, a roadblock must not violate citizens' rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizure as stated by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and made applicable to state and local governments through the Fourteenth Amendment. Ex parte Jackson, 886 So. 2d 155 (Ala. 2004). "[S]topping an automobile and detaining its occupants constitute a 'seizure' within the meaning of [the Fourth and Fourteenth] Amendments, even though the purpose of the stop is limited and the...

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