State v. Macke, ___ N.C. App. ___, 2021-NCCOA-70 (Mar. 16, 2021)

In this DWI case, the court held that a traffic checkpoint had a valid programmatic purpose and that G.S. 20-16.3A is constitutional.  Troopers testified that the primary purpose of the checkpoint, which was conducted with prior approval from a supervisor, with an established plan, and without narcotics officers or drug dogs, was to check for driver’s licenses and evidence of impairment.  The defendant’s primary challenge to the programmatic purpose of the checkpoint was that its location changed throughout the evening.  Given that changing the location was planned prior to establishing the checkpoint and was authorized by the supervisor, the trial court properly determined that the checkpoint had a valid programmatic purpose.  The court went on to hold G.S. 20-16.3A constitutional, specifically finding that the statute does not violate the right to free travel and does not impermissibly foreclose equal protection challenges arising from the placement of checkpoints.

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