Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz
United States Supreme Court
496 U.S. 444 (1990)
The Michigan Department of State Police (defendant) established a drunk driving checkpoint system. All vehicles passing through the checkpoint would be stopped and officers would briefly examine the drivers of the vehicles to determine if they were intoxicated. Where the officer believed the driver to be intoxicated, the driver would need to show his license and registration, further sobriety tests would be conducted, and arrest would be made if the tests so warranted. All other drivers would be immediately sent on their way and the average duration of each stop was twenty-five seconds. During seventy-five minutes of operation, 126 vehicles passed through one checkpoint, two drivers were detained for further sobriety testing and two drivers were arrested for drunk driving. Sitz (plaintiff) filed a complaint the day before the checkpoint went into effect, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The trial court held that the checkpoint violated the Fourth Amendment and the state appeals court affirmed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)
Dissent (Brennan, J.)
Dissent (Stevens, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.