Every weekend, California law enforcement officials conduct DUI checkpoints at different locations. Every weekend, people are arrested for DUI, and others are often placed in custody because they are not aware of their rights during a DUI stop. However, this becomes even more important during the holiday season as authorities ramp up their efforts to stop drivers from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
That is why it is extremely important that you are aware of your rights and how to exercise them. In most cases, your best option is to speak to an experienced DUI defense attorney.
Are DUI Checkpoints Legal?
In Ingersoll v. Palmer (the landmark DUI sobriety checkpoint case), the California Supreme Court ruled that DUI roadblocks must adhere to specific requirements in order to be constitutionally recognized. If they do not, your Orange County DUI attorney may be able to get your DUI charges reduced or dismissed. The requirements break down to three general ideas that DUI checkpoints must follow:
Who operates DUI checkpoints?
Supervising officers must determine where, how and when California sobriety checkpoints will operate. Supervising officers usually determine where these checkpoints will be held based on what areas have the highest concentration of DUI-related accidents and arrests.
This regulation also includes establishing the criteria for how cars will be stopped. For example, the supervising officers must determine ahead of time whether field officers will stop every car, every third car, every fifth car, etc. If this condition is not followed, your attorney may be able to get your case dismissed.
The sobriety checkpoint must be reasonably located
The location of the DUI roadblock must be reasonable. This means that the sobriety checkpoint must be in a location where there is a high volume of DUI-related accidents or arrests. It also means that the supervising officers must consider everyone’s safety when choosing where to set up a sobriety checkpoint.
DUI roadblocks must be publicly advertised
DUI checkpoints must be publicly advertised in California prior to the date of the roadblock and clearly visible to approaching drivers. With respect to advertising, law enforcement websites, local newspapers and news stations often report the upcoming checkpoint about a week prior to its operation.
This information is sometimes announced via a press release from the police department. You can also checkpoint information on your law firm’s social media outlets.
Call an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney Today
If you are arrested for DUI, you need to speak to an experienced DUI defense attorney immediately. You should exercise your right to have an attorney present before answering any questions from law enforcement. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled DUI lawyers have been successfully defending our clients facing DUI charges for over 30 years. We may be able to help you have the charges dismissed or reduced.
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Bernardino, Riverside, Victorville, Torrance, West Covina and Sherman Oaks, our skilled lawyers can help you wherever you happen to live or work.
Contact us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.