Articles Posted in Sobriety Checkpoints

Police officers have an interest in removing intoxicated drivers from the road. However, in trying to locate and arrest potentially drunk drivers, police officers must respect the rights of all motorists. Thus, police officers can only stop a vehicle under certain circumstances. For the most part, an officer must observe some indicia of dangerous driving or intoxication to stop a vehicle for suspicion of DUI.

A DUI checkpoint would seem to be contrary to this general rule. However, Arizona DUI checkpoints have been held to be legal if they are properly conducted. For example, courts have held that a checkpoint must be “carried out pursuant to a plan embodying explicit, neutral limitations on the conduct of individual officers.” One reason for this is that police could easily use a checkpoint as a pretext for racially motivated traffic stops. Thus, by removing the discretion from individual officers, courts believe that it is less likely an officer’s personal biases will affect whether a motorist is stopped.

What Are a Motorists’ Rights in a DUI Checkpoint?

When a motorist is stopped at a DUI checkpoint, an officer will approach the vehicle and begin to ask the driver questions. Generally, a motorist will be asked to provide the police officer with his driver’s license. It is important to remember that motorists do not need to engage in conversation with police officers, other than to provide necessary information. A motorist’s decision not to speak with an officer cannot be used as evidence of intoxication; however, by refusing to talk with an officer, the officer may become suspicious and decide to investigate further.

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We at The Law Office of James Novak proudly serve drivers throughout the greater Phoenix area who have been charged with drunk driving. Having a strong DUI defense lawyer is crucial for fighting charges and getting them dropped. Your attorney can also provide valuable information about penalties and other factors related to drunk driving cases.

A number of people are arrested at sobriety checkpoints set up by police at major thoroughfares and at different times of year. In many cases, these arrests might have been preventable. With that in mind, here are some tips on what to do when you encounter a sobriety checkpoint.

Do Not Try to Evade the Checkpoint If You Are Approaching It

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