When is it a DUI checkpoint or an unlawful detention?
The Fresno Bee Reported that, "A DUI checkpoint at Akers Street and Cypress Avenue in Visalia yielded one DUI arrest and 18 traffic citations Friday evening and Saturday morning, said the Visalia Police Department. Eleven people were cited for driving without a license and three for driving on a suspended license, and four other various citations were issued. Two vehicles were towed during the checkpoint. Members of the Visalia Police Department DUI Team, Traffic Unit, Patrol Division and a volunteer unit staffed the checkpoint from 9 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday."
The article calls this a "DUI Checkpoint" but in reality one DUI suspect was arrested. However, 18 citations where issued for something other than DUI. 11 people cited for driving without a license. 3 people cited for driving a motor vehicle while their drivers license was suspended. The supreme court has made very strict guidelines on what is a legal checkpoint and what is illegal. Narcotic checkpoints were ruled unconstitutional. However, DUI checkpoints where ruled to constitutional. However, common sense tells us that when checkpoints are in fact serving a purpose entirely different than what they were meant to serve, that it is no longer a DUI checkpoint, but rather a random detention center placed on the arteries of free travel.
If you were in the business trapping animals. You got paid the same to trap a coyote, wolf, dog, or cat. You got paid more for selling a sheep. You were allowed to bait a trap for wolves, but no other animal. You had to place the trap in a area where wolves are a nuisance. However, only 1 in 18 of the animals you trapped was actually a wolf, but you made money on every animal you trapped, especially selling the sheep. At what point could the trust be eroded to a point where the authorities stepped in and said no to future baited traps? This is exactly what he government is doing. The courts ruled that DUI was such a problem in society, under carefully define rules the government would allow this baited trap called a DUI checkpoint to catch the proverbial wolf, the DUI Driver. However, too many sheep are being caught. There are case law guidelines that set forth the criteria for a DUI Checkpoint. If you were cited at a DUI Checkpoint, you may want to discuss your case with a qualified DUI attorney who can advise you on the criteria necessary to conduct a DUI checkpoint, no matter what the violation you were cited for is.