As all motorists are required to have automobile insurance, a police officer absolutely can pull someone over for a lapse in coverage. If the insurance is the only issue, all your friend needs to do is have their insurance reinstated. If they do that, they can likely have the ticket dismissed.
<a href="http://www.amoslawnc.com">Fred Amos</a> provides legal representation in both Wake County and Durham County, North Carolina. Any answer provided through this discussion board is a general response to the question and NOT intended as legal advice. Responding to this question does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Always seek the advice of a lawyer directly to address your specific circumstances. Free consultation and flexible payment plans for <a href="http://www.dwidefenseraleigh.com">DWI's</a>. Call 919-803-7208.
Yes, its is not uncommon for officers to run tags to see if they are valid and that there is insurance. If they find a lapse then they will pull the car over. Technically the owner of the vehicle is supposed to be charged, so if your friend was not the owner of the car then they may have a defense.
No answer to these questions is intended to, nor does it, create an attorney-client relationship. There is no substitute for an actual conversation with a licensed attorney about the particular facts and circumstances of your case.