What Are DUI Sobriety Checkpoints?
Sobriety checkpoints are basically a DUI roadblock used by police to prevent drunk driving. They are supposed to be used as a tool to stop drunk drivers, rather than of making arrests for driving under the influence (DUI). Due to their potential to infringe upon Fourth Amendment rights, all sobriety checkpoints must adhere to certain regulations. Therefore, its important to consult a Los Angeles DUI attorney at our law firm immediately if you have been arrested at a checkpoint or roadblock.
If you were stopped at a DUI checkpoint and were arrested for driving under the influence, we are available to help you through this tedious and sometimes overwhelming process.
Are Sobriety Checkpoints Legal?
One of the biggest questions that people have when they come into my office is, was that sobriety checkpoint that caught me, legal? In other words, can they even have that there? And the answer is yes.
There's certain requirements that law enforcement has to abide by in order to set up a sobriety checkpoint and interestingly enough, one of those things is on any given Friday or Saturday night, you can Google where all of the sobriety checkpoints are and they have to tell you. So, you'll be able to see it out there on the road, and obviously, if you're going to drink and drive, you can avoid that area.
The bottom line is, they are legal as long as the police comply with certain requirements, they're entitled to put those sobriety checkpoints out there. If you get arrested based on one of those checkpoints, you're going to want to get to a DUI attorney as quick as possible to start doing everything you need to protect your rights, your freedom, your driving record, your reputation and your interests related to your DUI matter.
Police Seeking People Who Attempt to Avoid Checkpoint
One big thing that these DUI sobriety checkpoints allow law enforcement to do is to stop people for no reason. That's the one big they normally cannot do out on the road, but if they set up the checkpoint the right way, then they're allowed to stop people.
Another big thing I see is, I think half the people they stop try to get away from the sobriety checkpoint. In other words, they come up, the person's been drinking and driving, so what they do is either try to make a U-turn, typically illegally, and then that gives grounds for the police to pull them over, and you can bet that they're going to be checking them because they figure the reason the person is trying to get around the sobriety checkpoint is because they're drinking and driving.
So, that's one big thing that these sobriety checkpoints allow police to get around, which is the requirement that they've got to have reasonable suspicion to stop somebody. So, if they have you in a checkpoint and you try to either make a U-turn or you try to go down a side street, they're going to have motorcycle vehicles camped out there waiting.
Those are the people that they're targeting and that's 50% of the DUI. Then they just bring you back to the trailer where they have the DUI test and they're going to do field sobriety tests on you.
They're ultimately either going to take your blood or do a breath test, and if you're a .08 or greater, they're going to arrest you, ship you back to the station, hold you for a number of hours, and when they let you go they'll issue you a citation and then you'll have to appear in court with your attorney.
Obviously, one of the biggest factors in DUI law when it comes to field sobriety checkpoints or otherwise, is how high your blood alcohol level was at the time of your arrest, how your driving was, how you did on the field sobriety test.
So, if you're caught in a DUI checkpoints, one of these sobriety tests on the road, come into the office. Let's sit down and talk about exactly why you were arrested and what we can do to get you the best possible result related to your DUI matter.
Contact Us For Help
Our Los Angeles DUI attorneys are experienced with roadblocks and sobriety checkpoint procedures and laws. We will take a look at all the evidence presented against you to see if for example if your fourth amendment rights may have been violated.
To set up a valid sobriety checkpoint, law enforcement must meet the following factors: public must have notice of the checkpoints; there must be a turnout so people have the option to turn around; there must be a random formula to stopping the cars; the length of detention must be reasonable; the location, time, and day must be reasonable.
The burden is on the prosecution to prove these factors to uphold the checkpoint arrest. As your lawyer we will do everything we can to contest any evidence against you and look for any ambiguities, inaccuracies, or illegalities associated with the sobriety checkpoint and the DUI arrest.
We will help you. We have unmatched credentials and are we well known and respected all throughout Los Angeles County. Set up a free face to face consultation and we will discuss your charges and your options further in detail.