State v. Lopez

In State v. Lopez, 873 P.2d 1127 (Utah 1994), the Court explained that implementing general Fourth Amendment principles requires a balancing of the need to breach the wall of personal security with the extent of the particular invasion. In that case, the Court noted that "the government interest in arresting citizens who have outstanding warrants is substantial." Id. The Court then balanced that interest against the inconvenience occasioned by a warrants check, stating that "the impact of a warrants check on the scope of detention is minimal because computerized data storage renders the time for a records check negligible." Id. Consequently, in Lopez, the Court upheld the constitutionality of a warrants check in the course of a routine traffic stop so long as the check does not unreasonably extend the time of detention. Id.