Are checkpoints legal? Do the police have to advertise where the checkpoints are at? Do the police have to give advanced notification of a checkpoint? Can I beat a checkpoint DUI? I got a DUI at a checkpoint, aren't they illegal? Should I hire an attorney? Experienced DUI attorney in Fresno? Can a Fresno DUI lawyer help me with my checkpoint DUI?
I got a DUI at a DUI Checkpoint, are they legal?
Checkpoint DUI's have several unique aspects to their legality, and allow for more arguments than a traditional DUI. The first favorable issue is the fact that checkpoint DUI's rarely have any form of bad driving, vehicle code violation, or equipment violations. This give the prosecution less to argue. It is easier to show a person is impaired (needed for the 23152(a) charge) if the person was driving poorly, weaving, been in an accident, or otherwise drive in a manner that attracted the unwanted attention of law enforcement.
The leading case on the Constitutional aspects of a DUI Checkpoint is William Ingersoll v. Alfred Palmer, as chief of Police. After the Ingersoll case, and the subsequent cases redefining or clarifying the ruling there are 8 factors as to the constitutionality of a checkpoint.
1. Whether there was decision making at the supervisory level
2. Limits on discretion of field officers as to who is to be stopped
3. Maintenance of safety condition
4. reasonable location of the checkpoint
5. Reasonable time and duration of the checkpoint
6. Indicia of the official nature of the roadblock
7. Length and nature of the detention
8. Advance publicity regarding each checkpoint (This portion was later overruled)
The most common way to investigate these issues and see if your rights were violated, is to hire an attorney that will subpoena the "checkpoint packet" from the Law Enforcement agency conducting it.