Checkpoints are used by law enforcement as a way to detect motorists that are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Around the holidays, there are higher rates of influenced driving due to the existence of holiday parties, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year. Many people ask the question, “Are DUI checkpoints legal or do they fall under an unreasonable search and seizure?” DUI checkpoints are completely legal, according to a 1990 decision by Supreme Court.
The Fourth Amendment says that everybody has a right against unreasonable searches and seizures; however, a DUI checkpoint is not unreasonable. Since officers are stopping every individual that they come into contact with along the checkpoint without suspicion, and the search is minimally intrusive, it is not seen as an issue of the law. Some states are in desperate need of putting an end to drunk driving incidents, which is why DUI checkpoints have been seen as necessary in many cases. This means that, because police officers have deemed the checkpoints necessary in certain areas, the probable cause to conduct a checkpoint on all individuals is there.
You should note, however, that a roadblock or checkpoint cannot be constructed unless a “special need, beyond the normal needs for law enforcement” calls for it, according to the Supreme Court. For example, what if there is an extremely large amount of people driving drunk in a specific area of California? This might call for an immediate checkpoint.
Have you been caught driving under the influence and you believe you have a case? Call us today to speak to us about how we can defend you in your time of need. We are here for you every step of the way and can answer all of your important questions.