NYC DUI or Sobriety Checkpoint Lawyers
The purpose of a DUI or sobriety checkpoint is so law enforcement officials can stop vehicles on the road to see if drivers are impaired by drugs or alcohol. If an driver is stopped at a DUI checkpoint, a law enforcement officer will observe the driver for any signs of impairment. This may include the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath or slowed and slurred speech. When a police officer observes suspicion that the driver is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, he or she will conduct a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer that can lead to an arrest.
In court, there have been many challenge to sobriety checkpoints. Many allege that sobriety checkpoints are a violation of the Forth Amendment that states it is prohibited for law enforcement officials to perform unreasonable search and seizures. However, the United States Supreme Court ruled that DUI and sobriety checkpoints do not meet the requisites of an unreasonable search, but the United States Supreme Court also ruled that it is up to each state to decide how to handle sobriety checkpoints. In most states, they are enforced.
However, it is important to note that sobriety checkpoints have to meet numerous requirements. For example, there must be visible notifications of the checkpoint, which may include signs or lights, and it is also required that the amount of time a vehicle is detained should be kept to a minimum. In addition, the police department is also required to to give advance notice of a DUI checkpoint, which can reduce the amount of individuals who drink and drive, and it is also a way for the sobriety checkpoints to be less intrusive to motorists.
When conducting a DUI checkpoint screening, a police office must use a specific formula to help him or her determine which vehicles will be stopped, so they are not allowed to stop vehicles at random at a sobriety checkpoint. If a driver is stopped at random by a police officer during a sobriety checkpoint, it could be a sign the police officer was profiling.
Police offers may choose to stop each car that comes through the sobriety checkpoint, or they may only stop every fourth vehicle. However, it is extremely rare for law enforcement officials to stop every vehicle because it would take an excessive amount of time, and it would also be an inconvenience for motorists.
Most of the time, DUI checkpoints will take place in the late evening or early morning hours. In addition, they are also commonly seen on holidays that may include New Year’s Eve, Labor Day weekend, or Memorial Day. The police department attempts to set up DUI checkpoints at times when there is an increase in drinking and driving. The idea of DUI checkpoints is two-fold, which is to reduce the numerous of drunk drivers and arrest those who are intoxicated while driving. In addition, this approach also reduces the chances of collisions due to drunk drivers.
However, you should take note that you are entitled to constitutional protection during a sobriety checkpoint. It is not required for drivers to answer any questions from law enforcement officials, and they are not required to consent to a search. Although some individuals refuse to give a police officer their driver’s license and registration because DUI points can be seen as legally questionable, it is best to present these items to a police officer when asked. There are some individual who choose to put their driver’s license and registration in a clear plastic bag and hang it out the window for a police officer, and these individuals may include a note that explains the reason they refuse to lower their window. As drivers are not under obligation to lower the window for a law enforcement officials during at a sobriety checkpoint, it is completely legal to hand your license to an officer in the manner that was previously explained.
Although some drivers attempt to make a U-turn or evade sobriety checkpoint by changing their route, it is notable that law enforcement official closely watch vehicles as they near a roadblock. If you choose not to drive through a sobriety checkpoint by going another way, you are not in violation of the law, and a police officer is not able to use this as a valid reason to pull someone over. However, any traffic laws that were violated by a driver, such as illegal U-turns, would give a police officer a valid reason to make the stop.
If you have been arrested at a sobriety checkpoint, it is vital to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. There are many instances where the police did not have probable cause to detain individuals arrested at a sobriety checkpoint. A skilled attorney can ensure all your rights are protected.