I cannot believe that this is even debatable. It is a sign of the times that we would even be talking about this. This is a huge invasion of privacy.
They're not supposed to. Even if they pull a random stop, they are limited in the search of the vehicle. Its important to remember not the times that a person was pulled over and something incriminating was found, but all the times a car was searched and nothing was found. That's the whole reason behind the 4th Amendment. It sure is easier for law enforcement to search anywhere and any time they want, but it creates a police state.
They do not have such a right now. An officer has to have a valid reason to initiate a traffic stop. For the officer, there are many, many laws vague enough to offer an excuse to initiate a traffic stop. Also, no driver can actually obey all traffic laws while driving for any length of time. All an officer has to do is follow a car for 5 miles or less and the driver will make a mistake. They will cross a solid line, they will not come to a complete stop, they will weave a bit in their lane, they will go 1mph over the speed limit, they will do something that is off enough to allow a traffic stop. And then there are the modifications that people make to their cars: extra lights, jacked bodies, tinted windows, odd tires, exhaust, etc. These all give an officer a ready excuse to stop a vehicle.
Because of this, there is no reason to give officers MORE leeway.
If your question is to feel out opinions on searches, then you should rephrase your question. However, on searches: If a police office asks if they can search something of yours, you should always say, Officer, I do not give my permission for a search.
You cannot stop a search, but you but the burden of proof on the officer
Of course not. Their job gives them certain privileges the general public does not have, such as driving as fast as they want, breaking into buildings, stopping and restraining people, etc, but only when there's a legitimate reason.
They basically already have that right, DUI checkpoints, the Border Patrol interior checkpoints, where they are allowed to are stop you for no reason at all. And we have seen in videos if you don't submit to their questions, you're taken out of your car and questioned, and while police move your car (to stop it from block traffic) they can and do search it. Or they claim they didn't see you wearing a seat belt, or were weaving inside your lane, or whatever. Then if you dare exercise your right, they bring out dog, which again in some cases are trained to give false alerts when give the signal, thus giving the police the "right" to search your car.
They always have a reason, otherwise they wouldn't pull you over. The question should be: Should police officially have to motivate every check the do, and how is it to be filed?
It's against the law for them to do what they're doing anyway.
For those of you who may disagree with my "legal assessment", I bid you to read a short document called the Constitution... and then maybe one called the Bill of Rights.
Amazing stuff in there, AND it's the law the United States is based on.
This isn't just an abstract matter. When police are able to act with impunity, it leads to bad policing, bad behavior, bad justice and a bad society.
The process of requiring police to have reasonable cause, and enforcing that standard vigorously (as has been regrettably deeply downplayed in the United States), forces police to do their job. It guarantees that they spend less time with false positives (and false negatives).
Decades of research show that police are far more likely to exercise their biases when they have free reign. Forcing them to behave by certain transparent standards not only builds trust between communities and police (without which law enforcement is virtually impossible), but also makes sure that they act in a manner that will respect the diversity of communities. Given the scale of the problem of racial inequity in the present American criminal justice system, the risk of biases of any kind disrupting fair procedures should be given substantial weight.
Allowing police to pull a driver over without cause empowers police to shake down drivers, behave abusively, and misuse their position.
The rights of people to be able to get to work, play, school, vacation destinations and to be with their families with a reasonable expectation of being unmolested is vital to a society worth living in.