Arrests at Roadside Sobriety Checkpoints
State law has upheld the right of law enforcement to perform sobriety roadside checkpoints. However, they are required to proceed under certain restrictions. The checkpoint must have been announced as to where it will take place. There must be a legal basis for the checkpoint (such as an area that has statistically proven to have an increased number of DUI drivers). They must stop every vehicle that goes through the checkpoint. They must have probable cause to suspect someone is driving while intoxicated before arresting the person. Finally, the checkpoint must be approved by a supervising officer. It cannot be set up by any police officer who simply wants to do a checkpoint (i.e. a rolling checkpoint)
When stopped at one of these checkpoints, you will be asked for your driver's license and registration and may be questioned about whether you have had anything to drink. You are required to provide the documents, as you are whenever stopped by law enforcement, as well as your name and address. While the officer is looking over your documents, they are looking for certain signs of impairment which include:
- The smell of alcohol in the car
- Open containers of alcohol
- Slurred speech
- Appearing to fumble or have difficulty with your documents or other physical indications of intoxication
- Admitting to having been drinking alcohol
- Drug paraphernalia in evidence
How to Handle a Checkpoint
If you are pulled over at a sobriety checkpoint, you are not required to answer other questions and in fact, many arrests are the result of the individual admitting that they have been drinking. If you have been arrested and charged with DUI at a roadside checkpoint, you should immediately contact an attorney. At The Law Offices of Richard S. Lawson the legal team has defended countless individuals who have been charged with DUI offense at these checkpoints, and there are a variety of possible strong defense strategies.
Each case has unique differences and details, and a full review must be done by the legal team in order to determine the best way to move forward. In some cases, the procedures that are required by law in such checkpoints have been violated in some way. Many times there are errors in the arrest procedure. There can be a number of other possibilities that the legal team will immediately explore and take action to assist in the defense of your case.