14-288.11. Warrants to inspect vehicles in riot areas or approaching municipalities during emergencies.

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 4 of Chapter 15, any law-enforcement officer may, under the conditions specified in this section, obtain a warrant authorizing inspection of vehicles under the conditions and for the purpose specified in subsection (b).

(b) The inspection shall be for the purpose of discovering any dangerous weapon or substance likely to be used by one who is or may become unlawfully involved in a riot. The warrant may be sought to inspect:

(1) All vehicles entering or approaching a municipality in which an emergency exists; or

(2) All vehicles which might reasonably be regarded as being within or approaching the immediate vicinity of an existing riot.

(c) The warrant may be issued by any judge or justice of the General Court of Justice.

(d) The issuing official shall issue the warrant only when he has determined that the one seeking the warrant has been specifically authorized to do so by the head of the law-enforcement agency of which the affiant is a member, and:

(1) If the warrant is being sought for the inspection of vehicles entering or approaching a municipality, that an emergency exists within the municipality; or

(2) If the warrant being sought is for the inspection of vehicles within or approaching the immediate vicinity of a riot, that a riot is occurring within that area.

Facts indicating the basis of these determinations must be stated in an affidavit and signed by the affiant under oath or affirmation.

(e) The warrant must be signed by the issuing official and must bear the hour and date of its issuance.

(f) The warrant must indicate whether it is for the inspection of vehicles entering or approaching a municipality or whether it is for the inspection of vehicles within or approaching the immediate vicinity of a riot. In either case, it must also specify with reasonable precision the area within which it may be exercised.

(g) The warrant shall become invalid 24 hours following its issuance and must bear a notation to that effect.

(h) Warrants authorized under this section shall not be regarded as search warrants for the purposes of application of Article 4 of Chapter 15.

(i) Nothing in this section is intended to prevent warrantless frisks, searches, and inspections to the extent that they may be constitutional and consistent with common law and governing statutes. (1969, c. 869, s. 1; 2012-12, s. 2(d).)