Regulatory Scheme Definition
In order for an administrative checkpoint stop to be reasonable, it must meet three criteria:
(1) There must be a substantial governmental interest behind the regulatory scheme pursuant to which the inspection is made.
(2) the inspections conducted without a warrant must be necessary to further the regulatory scheme.
(3) the regulatory scheme must provide a constitutionally adequate substitute for a warrant. State v. Faircloth, Del. Super., 1995 WL 465323, (1995); New York v. Burger, 482 U.S. 691, 702-703 (1987).
For a regulatory scheme to be a constitutionally adequate substitute for a warrant, the regulations must advise the class of persons affected that they will be subject to a search, what the scope of that search will be, and the regulations must limit the discretion of the inspecting officers. Faircloth, 1995 WL 465323; Burger, 482 U.S. at 703.
In Faircloth, the defendant sought to suppress the results of an intoxilizer test where the initial stop was argued to be pursuant to the enforcement of the federal highway regulations, incorporated into Delaware law. Faircloth 1995 WL 465323
he officers performed eight random inspections, and stopped the defendant without actual observation of violations, to determine if there were violations of the regulations. Id. the Court found the initial stop was invalid on the basis that the enforcement procedure failed to provide a constitutional substitute for a warrant requirement. Id.
In Burger, the Supreme Court examined a New York regulatory scheme allowing administrative searches of junkyards. Burger, 482 U.S. at 707-708. the Court found that the scheme satisfied the three criteria necessary to make reasonable warrantless inspections. Id.
The government had an interest in addressing motor vehicle theft, regulation of the vehicle dismantling industry served that purpose, and the New York statute informed the operator that inspections would be regularly made, setting forth the scope of the inspection, and who would conduct the inspection. Id. at 710-711.