Many people get caught up in DUI checkpoints, especially around the holidays. Police officers know that many people misjudge how much alcohol they can legally consume at Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties and set up checkpoints to quickly and efficiently catch these drivers.
In many cases, these checkpoints can be a good thing. They catch extremely inebriated drivers before they can hurt people or cause an accident. However, they are extremely inconvenient to sober drivers. In addition, they often lead to people who are technically too intoxicated to drive (yet perfectly capable of doing so) being arrest and charged with DUI.
Are these DUI checkpoints legal? Many people feel that they should not be. They pose an extreme inconvenience to people who are totally sober and don’t deserve the loss of time. DUI checkpoints assume that average citizens are criminals before a crime has even been committed. In addition, they violate the Fourth Amendment, which requires reasonable cause or a search warrant in order to detain or search a citizen.
However, the Supreme Court ruled that DUI checkpoints are indeed legal in 1990 in the landmark case Michigan Department of State Police v. Sitz. There are several reasons for this. First, they felt that the checkpoints were not very intrusive. Second, they thought that the minor intrusion was balanced by the effect on public safety. Because DUIs are common at the times of year when most checkpoints occur, and because an inebriated driver can cause grave or deadly harm before they are caught without a checkpoint, the Supreme Court justices considered DUI checkpoints to not be a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
While DUI checkpoints are legal and are likely to remain so, this does not mean that there is no defense for people who are arrested because of them. If you have been arrested and accused of a DUI because of a checkpoint, it is important to contact an attorney in your area who is skilled with DUI defense. DUIs can be both expensive and personally devastating, but a good lawyer can help you fight the charges and get on with your life.
Contact An Attorney
For a free and immediate consultation with Hillsborough County personal injury lawyer Bryan Caulfield, call him at 1-800-535-2529 orcontact Bryan online. You only pay a fee or costs once Bryan has won your case. If no recovery is made, you owe nothing.