DUI Checkpoints and Roadblocks
DUI checkpoints or roadblocks have become a profit center for many municipalities. Although intended to deter drunk drivers, DUI roadblocks usually result in many types of tickets being written other than DUI-DWI. Beyond making a lot of money for their departments, many police officers now use DUI roadblocks to increase DUI-DWI arrests and meet department quotas. While these random “safety checkpoints” may seem like “entrapment”, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sobriety checkpoints do not violate the United States Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. If you were stopped at a DUI checkpoint and arrested for DUI, all is not lost. An arrest is not a conviction™! Consult FREE right now with one of the country’s leading DUI attorneys in your area. We know how to attack DUI checkpoint errors which could get your DUI charge reduced or even thrown out. Virtually every DUI roadblock has a “chase” car. This is an officer waiting in an idling vehicle at a strategic vantage point to see any vehicles that attempt to avoid the roadblock. These “chase” officers assume that ANY vehicle turning away from the sobriety checkpoint is trying to avoid detection for possible impaired driving. Several cases across the USA have held that if you do not wish to be delayed at a DUI roadblock, or believe you have happened upon an accident scene that is delaying traffic – you may find a safe, legal way to leave and not pass through the safety checkpoint. BUT if you make an abrupt, unsafe, or illegal maneuver in turning around, the chase car will usually pull you over.
DUI checkpoints may be constitutionally protected, but errors in police procedures are illegal, and a fully prepared DWI lawyer will uncover and attack every single police error made. This diligence could pay off in the form of a reduced charge, or if convicted, in lesser DUI penalties and consequences.
For example, every DUI roadblock must be set up by a trained and experienced supervisory officer who must oversee and select the location of the roadblock. The time and location of the sobriety checkpoint also must be selected by this supervisor. If the police failed this requirement in your case, it constitutes an illegal roadblock setup.
To allow you and your DUI-DWI specialist to prepare your best DUI defense, try to remember everything you saw and heard at the DUI checkpoint. How far ahead did you see the roadblock? Did the officer who first questioned you tell you what the PURPOSE of the roadblock was?
Were you given any advance notice of the roadblock (i.e., was the roadblock well marked and visible from flares, fluorescent cones, and emergency lights)?
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