DUI checkpoints are common law enforcement tool to catch DUI drivers by literally establishing road-blocks that force drivers to interact with law enforcement face-to-face. These checkpoints do more than just catch DUI drivers, they are used by law enforcement to catch:
-Drivers without valid insurance or registration
-Underage drivers driving past certain hours (there limits to minor aged drivers driving at night)
The penalties for a DUI arrest at a DUI checkpoint are the same as with any DUI stop:
-License suspension by the DMV
-Permanent criminal record
-Hefty fines and possible jail time
What are some defense issues that come up with DUI checkpoint cases?
Good Driving Exhibited by Driver
For a DUI attorney, a DUI checkpoint case can present a number of viable defense issues that will help the driver involved. A DUI case is built on the accusation that the driver was too impaired to drive, yet at a checkpoint, the driver successfully approached the checkpoint and interacted with law enforcement.
Most DUI cases involve some type of bad driving by the defendant: speeding, swerving, crossing over lines at a stop-sign or intersection. Checkpoint cases, however, often involve a driver simply pulling up to the checkpoint: no bad driving observed by the officer.
This is the starting place for a DUI defense involving DUI checkpoint cases.
Legality of the Stop
California law is in accord with federal law with respect to the right of the individual to be free from unreasonable police interference. When it comes to DUI checkpoints, this means the police or other law enforcement agency has to publish in local media a list of where and when a proposed DUI checkpoint will be established. This also means the checkpoint has to be set up in manner where a driver who does not wish to drive through the DUI checkpoint can chose an alternate road.
DUI checkpoint links: