A DUI checkpoint in Garden Grove nabbed 2 alleged drunk drivers last night and cited 10 other drivers for license violations. In total, nearly 700 vehicles were pulled over. But as any Orange County DUI attorney will tell you, in order for any of the citations or arrests to hold up in court, the DUI checkpoints must adhere to strict rules.
First and foremost, any police department intent on putting up a DUI checkpoint needs to announce the location of the checkpoint in advance. Also, for a checkpoint to be considered legal, officers must adhere to a mathematical formula when selecting which motorists to investigate. For example, they must decide in advance that they are going to question every 3rd vehicle or 5th vehicle and then adhere to that random number.
Should your vehicle be selected, California law dictates that an officer can only conduct a brief investigation and look for signs of impairment. If a driver does not appear to be impaired they must be allowed to drive on without delay.
All DUI checkpoints must be clearly marked with hazard lights and marked police cars. It is also not legal for an officer to pull you over for turning around or trying to avoid a DUI checkpoint unless you violate a traffic law in doing so.
If you have been charged with a DUI as the result of a DUI checkpoint and you feel as though the checkpoint was not conducted in accordance with California law, it is imperative that you immediately contact a criminal defense attorney. The estimated costs for a DUI conviction far exceed $10,000.