Frequently Asked Questions
About Us
Upcoming Events
Fairfield Police Association
Bicycle Registration Program
Drug Information
Local Ordinances
Safety Tips
School Resource Officer
Sex Offender Registration
Wayne County Crime Stoppers
Employment Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Important Phone Numbers
Contact Us

Q. "What are my rights in a road side safety check? I agree that they are probably a good thing, but completely disagree with the police department being able to stop me wthout reasonably suspecting me of something. If I am not speeding, am wearing my seatbelt, am not portraying any suspicious behavior and my vehicle is legal, does the police department have a right to pull me over because I am the next car down the road under the guise of a roadside safety check? If they are, can I refuse them searching my vehicle or even showing them my driver's license? Please explain the law and my rights in this matter." - Danny Harrison

A. Under normal circumstances a citizen can only be stopped and detained by the police when a reasonable inference or probable cause has been established that a crime or offense has been committed, is being committed, or is about to be committed. At the point when this stop occurs certain authorities by the police to search and seize may be exerted. The scope of a search, which means where an Officer may search, can vary widely depending on circumstances and knowledge that the Officer has at the time. Some searches may be limited to the immediate area of a driver or passengers or may even extend to the person. Some searches could extend to other areas of a vehicle up to and including disassembly of some parts of a vehicle. As you can see, the search of a vehilce by police covers a wide spectrum. However, if you are asked for a consensual search of your vehicle you may decline the search. If it is a consensual search the officer must notify you of this. If the officer is going to invoke a compulsory search (probable cause search) then the officer will inform you of this. When in doubt ask the officer if you have a choice regarding the search.

Roadside safety checks are an exception to many accepted standards concerning Fourth Amendment rules of search and seizure. It is true that you may be stopped and detained without having done anything illegal at a roadside safety check but only with certain provisions. First, the selection of vehicles to be stopped must be systematic and objective and not subject to a whim of the police to select certain vehicles. Officers must be consistent in stopping every vehicle, or every other vehicle, or every fifth vehicle, etc. passing through the safety check. Notification of the safety check itself must be made public within certain time frames and the area where it is to occur, such as a certain State Police District within a certain month. These notices are often made in news releases from the Illinois State Police in local newspapers, TV, or Radio Stations.

In response to the question regarding display of driver's license, you must display the license at the Officer's request. Illinois Vehicle Code states that a driver must produce his/her driver's license to a uniformed officer or officer displaying a badge when demand is made. In fact, Illinois Vehicle Code states a driver in the State of Illinois must have their driver's license in their immediate possession while operating a motor vehicle (625 ILCS 5/6-112).



Horizontal Divider 26

Q. Does Fairfield have a curfew? When is it, what times, and for what age? - Cheryl Matthews

A. The Illinois Criminal Code provides a curfew for Illinois communities. The law states that it is unlawful for a person under 17 years of age to be present at or upon any public assembly, building, place, street or highway at the following times unless accompanied and supervised by a parent, legal guardian or other responsible companion at least 18 years of age approved by a parent or legal guardian:

Between 12:01 AM and 6:00 AM Saturday;

Between 12:01 AM and 6:00 AM Sunday; and

Between 11:00 PM on Sunday to Thursday, inclusive, and 6:00 AM on the following day.

The law does make exception to a person engaged in a business or occupation which the laws of this State authorize a person less than 17 years of age to perform (720 ILCS 555/1).

If you would like to submit a question, please click on this link.