It is the opinion of Wilber Law Offices that DUI checkpoints are, in fact, often used for other purposes. Considering the amount of DUI arrests resulting from these constitutional infringements, (not many) they are more a checkpoint for any violation, and less about DUI investigations and screening.
Typically law enforcement must have probable cause to stop you. That is, they must believe there is a likelihood that the law is being broken. This can include a Vehicle Code violation, vehicle safety defects, or poor driving. So, how is it that law enforcement can just stop you at these checkpoints without observing any of the mentioned criteria?
In order to survive any Constitutional scrutiny, the law enforcement agency “hosting” the checkpoint must fulfill or abide by the following criteria:
- supervising officers must make all operational decisions;
- the criteria for stopping motorists must be neutral;
- the checkpoint must be reasonably located;
- adequate safety precautions must be taken;
- the checkpoint's time and duration should reflect “good judgment”;
- the checkpoint must exhibit sufficient indicia of its official nature;
- drivers should be detained a minimal amount of time; and
- roadblocks should be publicly advertised in advance.
(Ingersoll v. Palmer (1987) 43 Cal.3d 1321, 743 P.2d 1299)
If any of the above requirements are absent from law enforcement's checkpoint, it could present a defense to your DUI matter. The likelihood of winning on this basis is low, but not impossible. Wilber Law Offices enjoys these challenges and will always explore every avenue of defense available to you.