driving while black

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“Driving while Black” (DWB) is a slang term used to refer to the racial profiling of African-American motor vehicle drivers by police. It implies that a motorist may be stopped by a police officer largely because of racial bias rather than any apparent violation of traffic law. Studies indicate that Black drivers are stopped more often than white drivers, with less evidence of wrongdoing. The phrase was magnified after the ruling of Whren v. United States (1996), when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that police officers may stop any motor vehicle operator if any traffic violation has been observed.

[Last updated in March of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]