While San Diego County police often resort to DUI sobriety checkpoints to find and arrest drunk drivers, the police still must follow a strict set of rules in order to adhere to the Forth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. If you were charged with drunk driving after going through a sobriety checkpoint in San Diego, Vista DUI lawyer Peter M. Liss can help you.
For example, a warning must be posted about the upcoming checkpoint days in advance, supervising officers must be present and in charge of the roadblock and drivers must legally be able to drive away from the checkpoint. Additionally, the checkpoint location should be reasonable, picked by supervisors, look official, be neutrally run, and drivers should not be unduly detained. Courts have ruled all sobriety checkpoints should follow these guidelines but the totality of the circumstances determines whether the sobriety checkpoint was constitutional.
In order to speed up the roadblock process, many DUI checkpoints only involve stopping every few cars as decided by the superior officer before the checkpoint begins operating. Officers cannot stop a car because they do not like how the driver looks or because a particular vehicle is more likely to be operated by a drunk driver, they may only stop every other car, every third car, etc. Failure to follow these predetermined guidelines is considered cause for resulting DUI charges to be reduced or dismissed.
In addition to these requirements, police must also follow standard DUI procedures, which means all of the most common drunk driving defenses are also available to the Vista DUI defense lawyer of those who have been charged with drunk driving at a sobriety checkpoint.
If you have been charged with a DUI after being stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in North County San Diego, Vista DUI attorney Peter M. Liss can help you. Please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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