The California Supreme Court has ruled that sobriety checkpoints are legal in the State of California. Police departments have received tens of thousands of dollars to conduct numerous DUI Checkpoints throughout the year. Orange County arresting agencies have combined efforts in the Avoid the 38 – Orange County DUI Campaign Task Force. Together arresting agencies throughout the county join together to hold frequent checkpoints and saturation patrols in areas of high instances of drunk driving.
All arresting agencies must follow very specific guidelines when conducting a DUI Checkpoint. Foremost, the agency or task force conducting the checkpoint must show that supervisors have made the important decisions related to the checkpoint. The agency must also show that officers in the field have limited discretion in the operation of the checkpoint. Safety conditions must be properly maintained at all times. This helps to keep the public and officers safe throughout the checkpoint. The location of the checkpoint must be in a reasonable location. Many agencies will show a high frequency of DUI collisions or traffic related fatalities at the intersection that the checkpoint is conducted.
Furthermore, the time and duration of the checkpoint must be reasonable. Arresting agencies conducting DUI checkpoints must have adequate signage that notifies drivers of the approaching roadblock. Officers may only stop vehicles for a reasonable time and in a reasonable nature. The agency or task force must devise a neutral formula for stopping vehicles to avoid vehicle or suspect profiling. Finally, the agency conducting the task force must give advance publicity of the time and place of the checkpoint.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI after being stopped at a checkpoint, you need to contact an experienced drunk driving attorney. There are many issues that arise during a checkpoint case. You have rights, contact our office today.