DUI checkpoints tend to be many as the busy summer seasons approach. Drivers should get prepared for such checkpoints almost every time they are driving during the night. This is the time when driving while drunk tend to be more common, Under California law, police enforcement officers are permitted to set up these checkpoints where drivers may be detained for some time to test whether they are driving while impaired. For such reasons, you need Van Nuys criminal lawyer to help you understand the guidelines that the officers entrusted with DUI checkpoints have to follow. This may help you fight back in case of a wrongful arrest.
Understanding DUI Checkpoints
It’s according to the U.S Supreme Court that sobriety checkpoints be conducted on roadways to check drivers who are impaired randomly. A police officer has the right to stop you, and they don’t require a probable cause to do that. As some think, being subjected to DUI checkpoints is not a violation of the Fourth Amendment. However, even though DUI checkpoints are legal, they must follow certain procedures. For a DUI checkpoint to be legal and constitutional there must be some conditions met. The guidelines include:
- Supervising officers must make the decisions of the car to be stopped
- The process of stopping a vehicle for checks must be neutral
- There must be clear notice of a checkpoint in advance so as to alert the public
- The detention time must be as short as possible
- There DUI checkpoint must be in a strategic position so that drivers can safely stop. Again, there should be enough space for the smooth flow of traffic.
- The duration of DUI must be reasonable. Though there is no time limit as to when a DUI checkpoint must start and end, the supervisors must ensure the setup time is reasonable to ensure they don’t cause unnecessary inconvenience to drivers. For instance, having a DUI checkpoint on a Monday morning is probably unreasonable.
If you get a DUI checkpoint arrest, you should hire a criminal lawyer immediately. The lawyer will determine whether the agency conducting checkpoint followed the law while arresting you. If you feel you should avoid a DUI checkpoint, there is no law against that. Nevertheless, you should act reasonably. Normal traffic rules must apply even if you try to avoid the DUI checkpoints. For instance, if you failed to pull over and you committed a traffic violation like making an improper U-turn, you will be arrested and charged.
Do I Need A Lawyer For Help With A DUI Checkpoint Arrest?
DUI checkpoints laws are not easy. You should consider hiring a lawyer to provide you with legal advice and help you know about your legal rights and responsibilities. In case of arrest, your lawyer can represent you in court whenever needed and help you avoid conviction. Besides, he/she may be able to rule out whether checkpoint guidelines were met when you were being arrested. If the law was not followed, your arrest might be deemed illegal, and your DUI charges dropped.